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Markha Valley Trek slider image

Markha Valley Trek

markha valley trek in winter

Max Altitude

Trekking KM.

22,500 /Person

  • +5% GST (Goods and Services Tax)
  • Leh to Leh | included transport
  • Rs 21,000 Trek Cost & Rs 1,500 Transportation (All included in the cost)

Help & Support

  • +91 819 100 4846
  • 10:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs Monday - Saturday GMT +5:30 Sunday Closed
  • [email protected]
  • Cost & Cancellation Terms
  • Risk & Respond

How To Reach

Trek essential, important links, fixed departure.

  • Trail Type Cross Over Trail
  • Rail Head Accessible by Manali-Leh or Srinagar-Leh highway
  • Airport Leh airport (Kushok Bakula Rimpochee airport)
  • Base Camp Leh
  • Summer Treks (Mid Apr - Jun)
  • Monsoon Treks (Jul - Aug)
  • Autumn Treks (Sep - Mid Nov)
  • Services from Leh to Leh | Included Transport
  • Meals Meals while on trek (Veg + Egg)
  • Stay Camping (Twin sharing) & Hotel/Guesthouse
  • Region - Ladakh
  • Duration - 7 Days
  • Grade - Moderate
  • Max Altitude - 17100 Ft.
  • Approx Trekking Km - 61 Kms.

Located in the northern part of India, the union territory of Ladakh lies in the westernmost part of the Himalayas in the close vicinity of the Karakoram Ranges. The capital of Ladakh, Leh, the most desired adventure hub, is popular for its raw and arid thrill and a gateway to burned-out trails. With the Markha Valley trek , one gets to rediscover the parched region of the mighty Himalayas. The mysterious ride of 8 days, exhibiting lush green to yellow barren landscapes, passing alongside the Indus River will be borne in your mind for a lifetime.

Markha Valley is the largest valley in the region. Of course, Leh is the starting point of this trek, which is an added advantage to exploring the Buddhist monuments in Leh. You will be astonished to traverse through the tiny hamlets as you gain altitude. Surprisingly, these villages host cafes or tea houses serving to rejuvenate hot drinks when you are tired from the strenuous hike. One after another, Rumbak, Yurutse, Skiu, Markha, Hankar, and Nimaling settlements will revitalize you. Not only that, most of the villages have preserved monasteries, ruined forts, and temples. Amongst them, the Tacha monastery is an eye and heart catcher that lies between the mountains.

Though the trek goes through dry regions, the Indus, Markha, and numerous streams will come your way. Since the trail goes through Hemis National Park, all its treasured fauna, mountain sheep, arghali, rabbits, and snow leopards, can be spotted at every camping site. Ganda La and Kongmaru La are the two cardinal passes to be crossed en route. These passes are known for the panoramic views of the infinite Karakoram and Ladakh ranges. The stunning sights of K2 mountain, Stok Kangri , and Kang Yatse peaks are fulfilling and the motivation of this trek. On clear days one can get to see the distant Tibet region. Just a small trek ahead of Markha Valley and you will reach the base of Kang Yatse Peaks .

This is not one of those typical treks that retrace the same path while descending. Therefore, you get a wider and non-repetitive insight into Ladakhi Himalayas. Each day reveals mesmerizing views concealed behind the mountains.

Who can participate

  • Age; 15 years.
  • Experience of any high altitude trek, at least 1 treks of 4,000m/13,100ft.
  • The climber must be fit and have sufficient stamina to cover 5 km of distance in 30 minutes without a stress.
  • The climber should be able to carry a 12-16 kg backpack.

Health Awareness

  • Pulse rate at rest must be in between (60 to 90 beats per minute)
  • Blood Pressure Reading must be in between (DIASTOLIC 75 – 85, SYSTOLIC 100 - 130 mm Hg)
  • Respiratory rate at rest must be in between (12 to 20 breaths per minute)
  • Should not have Liver and kidney issues
  • Should not have Diabetes Mellitus, Bronchial Asthma, Epilepsy, Heart problems, Hypertension etc
  • No pacemaker implant
  • People with the Sinus issues please contact to trek coordinator before booking the trek
  • If your BMI is not normal, Please contact our Trek coordinator before Trek booking.

Government Employees {SCL}

Government Employees can avail the benefit of Special Casual Leave (SCL) when you join us for a trekking expedition. As per the rules of the Pay Commission, Special Casual Leave can be availed  for up to 30 days in a calendar year for trekking/mountaineering expeditions through a registered organization. Trek The Himalayas is a registered adventure tour operator by Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) and Ministry Of Tourism (MOT)  Trekkers have to apply for leave at least 20 days before trek departure date.

  • Junior trekkers (below 15 years) should have a company of parent/guardian.
  • Trekkers between 15 to 18 years can come solo with the disclaimer form signed by parent/guardian.
  • Medical & Disclaimer Form (Mandatory Documents)    Click here
  • Altitude:- 3,500 m/11,500 ft
  • Check-in Hotel
  • Briefing about the trek at 5 pm (mandatory)
  • Bring a copy of ID proof and 2 photographs. foreigner, a copy of passport and visa
  • The network is available (only post-paid)
  • ATM is available
  • Can purchase or rent trekking equipment from Leh
  • A visit to any very high altitude place or pass is not advisable
  • Consumption of alcohol and smoking is strictly prohibited
  • Stay in hotel

NOTE: Markha Valley Trek is of 7 days and the highest altitude is of 17,100 ft. If you are looking for more challenging adventure in Leh try out the Twin Peaks Expedition . You can go for either Kang Yatse II or Dzo Jongo Peak as well.

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Markha Valley trek begins from Leh. Arrive in Leh by flight or train. Take it slowly once you arrive in Leh. Since it is at the hazardous height of 11,000 ft direct landing at this height may trigger AMS. Make sure you rest well and do not strain your body during your stay in the hotel. Leh has gained popularity as the adventure capital of India. It is quite famous amongst wanderers, which you can evidently see as you roam here and there.

Cafes are loaded here which are hanging out places for adventurers. There is a good network connection in Leh and has ATMs. Leh is a good option to fill up your things to carry list if you have forgotten any item. Although cafes are in close vicinity, try to stay away from alcohol and avoid smoking. Apart from that, Leh is also known for monasteries, palaces, and temples. Make sure to visit them as you enjoy your small treat in Leh. You can also explore the local market in Leh and try the local cuisine. Staying outdoors will help you acclimatize to the altitude. Reserve the evening for rest. Sleep well and let your body acclimatize to the altitude.

  • Acclimatization and sightseeing in Leh
  • Can visit monasteries: Shey, Thiksey, Sangam, and Hemis
  • Avoid river rafting, you can plan it after your trek.
  • A visit to any high-altitude place or pass is not recommended.
  • Note: Downhill cycling tour around Leh without straining body.

This is an extra day added to the itinerary to help you get acclimatized better. Therefore utilize this day and try to stay outdoors. Acclimatization days in our treks are used to give your body time to adjust to the thinning air at high-altitude conditions. Several changes occur in your body while trekking in high-altitude regions and the purpose of acclimatization is to allow your body to operate optimally in a decreased oxygen level environment.

Leh is a major hub for adventure as well as a culturally rich center. It presents innumerable opportunities for sightseeing starting from the monasteries and temples, the local market as well as many places serving delicious local cuisine. Today, you can hike up to the Shey Palace, Thiksey Monastery, and Thiksey Gompa to experience the Buddhist culture. Thiksey Gompa is the largest in central Ladakh, located on a hill. Avoid gaining height by hiking to nearby passes or valleys. This is only to avoid stressing your body, as it may hinder the process of acclimatization.

Additionally, you can interact with the locals and fellow travelers to gain some knowledge about the adjacent areas. Roam in the Leh city and the Leh Bazaar. You can collect souvenirs from a variety of shops. You must spend the sunset at the Shanti Stupa, which is known for its dazzling lights in the evening. Say goodbye to the wonderful Leh and rest in your hotel. Your actual trekking day begins tomorrow.

  • Altitude: Chilling - 3,200 m/ 10,500 ft; Skiu - 3,400 m/ 11,150 ft
  • Drive Distance: 65 km | Duration: 2 to 3 hrs (Leh to Chilling)
  • Trek Distance: 9 km | Duration: 4 to 5 hrs (Chilling to Skiu)
  • Altitude Loss: 100 m/ 350 ft
  • Drive through Gurudwara Patthar Sahib, Magnetic Hill, and the confluence of Indus and Zanskar
  • Accommodation in homestay/ camping

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Get set as your real trek journey commences. You will be riding along the skillfully paved roadways crossing marvellous landscapes. Throughout the road, you will encounter military camps decorated with colorful big rocks around the camps. Do not miss Gurudwara Pathar Sahib on the right and Magnet Hill on the left as you move ahead. The Stok Range remains on the right until it vanishes slowly when you reach Hemis National Park. You will be pleasantly surprised once you reach Sangam. Indus and Zanskar rivers, both bottle green, yet so unique, form the most spectacular confluence. This point is also famous as starting end for rafting. Take a diversion here towards Chilling. The surrounding view henceforth changes magically. The open terrain beside the road enters into the closed valley. Valley has stunning purple, black, and grey shades of the mountains. Juniper and tall alpine trees will border the route as you cross the Zanskar river over green iron bridges. Take a deep breath once you get down at Chilling, as the walking will begin in a few minutes.  Chilling is the point where the Markha River merges into Zanskar.

The trek ahead incepts a steep ascent going through Zingchen Gorge. Amidst you will also cross the river on a trolley at Kaya-Do place. The trail many times comes across the river. Skiu will mark the first camping in the tents. It is located at the confluence of rivers Shgri Nala and Markha. Skiu village is largely divided into two sections, upper and lower village. Lower Skiu has 12 houses quite close to each other. A small trudge, old monastery, and ruins of a palace separate it from upper Skiu. There are small white stupas and mani stones laid towards upper Skiu. Markha River lies on the right of the village.

Most of the places here offer homestays. Relax after a mini-trek, while looking forward to the upcoming trek.

  • Altitude: 3,700 m/ 12,200 ft
  • Trek Distance: 16 km | Duration: 7 to 8 hrs
  • Altitude Gain: 500 m/ 1050 ft
  • Longest day but normal and plain slope.
  • Markha is one of the largest villages in the valley
  • Cafes on the way.
  • 2-3 river crossing
  • Monastery and palace visit at Markha.

Start fresh for the actual first trekking day. Be vigilant about birds and animals. Markha valley harbors enormous wildlife. Magpie birds will be visible right after you step out of the house. The trail is quite evident and well-paved intermittently. The Markha River will remain escorting on the right, which incepts from Kang Yatse peaks. In an hour a cafe can be spotted, take a small break here and keep walking. The trail is enclosed by the valley that goes through sparse forest cover. After another hour’s trudge and the first wooden bridge comes to Zanpa Yoakma.

In about 25 minutes another coffee shop at Hamourja is waiting for you to rejuvenate. You will cross the Markha River a couple of times during the trek as you pass through various winter settlements containing Lhatos (religious shrines built for the local deities) as well as Mani walls (walls made of stone inscribed with prayers). Look out for black sheep, deer, and mountain goats on these banks. Keep walking straight to Nagding village for another 40 minutes. Right in front of the houses spot meditation caves at a height on the valley walls. These caves are believed to be having paintings from the 20th century. The banks of the Markha River get wider and you can find yourself stepping in the powdered sand. Enjoy the feeling of Himalayan sands.

After about 1 hour from Nagding village, a big entrance of Sara village appears. The entrance is decorated with skeletons of wild animals. Unlike Skui, Sara seems like an open area. Sara Village is also home to a monastery and ruins of an old castle which is believed to be the resting spot of the Royal families on their way to Srinagar in ancient times. You may also see wheat plantations and Bushoi (a cotton-like flowering plant and also a natural painkiller). Also, a unique thing that you will notice is that the entrance to Sara village is decorated with skulls of animals like Yak or Sheep. These animal skulls are perceived as a sign of pride for the locals.                            

From here, the first tea houses arrive immediately after 30 minutes at Chalak village. The Chalak Village comes after crossing a wooden bridge. The village has houses placed on small hills with stone protection shelters for domestic animals at the base. Visit any of the villagers and they will greet you with Namkin Chai and biscuits. Re-energize with affectionate talks and hot drinks. You will see Barley fields in the village. From Chalak, it is a gradual ascent up towards Markha and you will pass by the section of the trail marked by Bharal horns.  The destination is 2 hours away from here. 

At every small distance, you can find Mani stones laid around white stupas. These stones are engraved with Buddhist prayers, some of them in the Sanskrit language too. Be humble in front of these historic symbols. Do not dare to touch these stones. The villagers believe these stones are protected by some powers, and any harm to them will cause harm to that person. Do not forget to notice the ruins of the palace at every turn in the valley. This can be figured out by flags at a height on small temples. These palaces were considered viewpoints and signalling points during the reign of the Kings. Markha Village is considered the largest village, you can find numerous houses, scattered away. You will have to walk in the running stream of the Markha River to reach the Markha village. The water in the Markha River can be thigh-high at some points, so it is better to take off your shoes and socks and pull up your pants to cross the river. The cold water will bring back all the energy. In 20 minutes, you can see the hamlet. Markha is the biggest village in the entire valley and comprises 25 houses.

  • Altitude: 4,100m/ 13,400 ft
  • Trek Distance: 13 km | Duration: 8 to 9 hrs
  • Altitude Gain: 400m/ 1200 ft
  • Teahouse at Umling Village
  • Last Village Of The Valley
  • View Of A Beautiful Monastery
  • The path will intersect the River a number of times
  • After Umlung, you will have the first look at Mt. Kang Yatse (6,400 m)
  • Packed lunch on the way

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Take the most advantage of the innocence of the salient villages because today will probably be the last habitats on the route. Today is one of the most beautiful days of trekking and the views start opening up as you traverse the upper Markha Valley. The trail is beautiful and refreshing when it merges with flowing rivers and streams. These water bodies can also be crossed over a bridge. Umlung village is a small village and will serve as the last teahouse of the trek with yet another serene monastery to your sight.

After Umlung you can get the first sight of Mt. Kang Yatse(6400m). It seems as if the peak is calling you! Follow its voice, again overcome the river several times and enter the Hankar village. Try to spot the magically placed Tacha monastery on a mountain. It is the last hamlet of the trek and your refuge place.

  • Altitude: 4,800 m/ 15,800 ft
  • Trek Distance: 7 km  Duration: 3 to 4 hrs
  • Altitude Gain: 700 m/ 2,400 ft
  • An easy trek
  • Amazing view of Kang Yatse
  • Amazing view of Tigu Lakes
  • Accommodation in tent

Get all enthusiastic, after yesterday’s tough trek, today will be an easy and short trek. Start walking and in 1 km you will find diversions or paths separating out. The other route goes to Rupshu and Zanskar. Keep walking on the left path until a stone bridge. This marks that you are on the right trail. Henceforth, you can see many diversions, please be careful and follow the trek leader/guide. In the next 2 hours, the pastures of Thochuntse become visible. There camping sites and tea houses here. Thochnugtse also has some lovely green fields which are quite a contrast to the aridness of the desert in Ladakh. Keep walking slowly, enjoying the view. The trail is quite steep for like an hour after which becomes a gradual incline.

Try to engulf yourself in nature and move slowly just as you focus on the Kang Yatse peak. The peak seems to grow bigger and bigger. Surprisingly, tranquil twin lakes also come along the path. From the lakes, it is a long and gradual descent to the plateau of Nimaling. The trails enter into a huge grassland after a few fights crossing streams of the high altitudes. Sheep, mountain goats, and sometimes rabbits are found grazing at Nimaling. It is a pleasant camping place. It is the highest point you will attain on this trek and being the highest campsite Nimalaing offers spectacular views of the Kang Yatse Peak on the right. There are instances of snowfall at this site hence we prepared for that. Above all that, just try to merge into the high world and sleep in peace.

  • Altitude: Kong Maru La - 5,200 m/ 17,100 ft; Chokdo - 3,700 m/ 12,100 ft
  • Descent to Chokdo (Shang Valley) from Kongmaru La is a little long
  • The highest altitude pass crossing along the trek makes it a difficult day
  • Cross a stream terrain and proceed to the north
  • It will take 2 to 3 hrs of a hike for Kongmaru La Pass
  • Amazing views of Indus and Ladakh Range
  • A steep descent and rocky terrain
  • From Chokdo drive to Leh (2 hrs drive)
  • Accommodation in hotel

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This day will be nostalgic and exciting, as this is the last day of the trek landing at the highest pass of the trek. Kongmaru La is visible distinctly from Nimaling on your left. Also, this day will be filled with surprises. Cross the stream near the campsite and then you will have to follow the clear trail to reach the pass. After a strenuous climb of 2 hours to Kongmaru La pass, you will be pleasantly welcomed by the Karakoram Range Mountains and the excellent array of peaks. Hold your breath for the mind-blowing sight of the huge K2 Mountain, the second-highest peak in the world. There are prayer flags moving along the wind. To your surprise, there is a good network connection from the pass.

The trail then gradually descends, coinciding with villages to say goodbye. The immediate trail from the pass has a steep and narrow descent which later opens to Chikirmo village. The descent can be pretty hard on your knees as it is quite steep. Throughout the route, you can get indulged in the scenery of the Indus Valley and the Ladakh range. After a gradual climb down and rocky terrain, you will reach Chokdo. This is the last stop of the entire trek, which also has many homestays. Get into the pickup vehicle that will take you to Leh.

Take a sigh of relief in this village, as your next stop will be the last stop, Leh. The further road is descending showing the monastery and Hemis Gompa. Fill them in your eyes, heart, and mind. Close your eyes to rewind the entire Markha Valley diaries.

  • Pick Up Place

First of all everyone to reach Leh.

You have to come to our hotel, once you book the trek our trek coordinator will share with you the hotel name, location and contact person number.

Choose any option to reach Leh

  • The easiest and best way to travel is to fly to Kushok Bakula Rimpochi Airport located in Leh. It is just 4 km away from the main city. The airport is well connected to Delhi and also receives flights from Mumbai, Srinagar, Jammu, Chandigarh and other general destinations in India. Even international travelers can fly directly from major cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. You can find taxis outside the airport or book a cab to reach the required destination.
  • There are two road routes to Leh
  • Manali (Himachal Pradesh ) to Leh via Baralacha La, Lachulung La and Tanglang La and It covers a distance of 500 km.
  • Srinagar to Leh via Zoji La, Lamayuru Lunar Landscape and Kargil and It covers a distance of 450 km.
  • You cannot reach Leh directly by train as there is no train station in Ladakh. The nearest railway station is Jammu Jammu Tawi (700 km from Ladakh) which is well connected with Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
  • TTH’s Tata Sumo, Tempo Traveller or similar vehicles will pick-up you.
  • Pick-up is included in the cost of the trek.
  • If you wish to upgrade the transport service, please contact the Trek Coordinator.

You can take any option of Manali Highway, Srinagar Highway or direct flight to go back from Leh. Our services are up to hotel only and hotel check out time is 10:30 AM.

  • Cancellation Policy

1. Accommodation: • Guest house in Leh on Day 1, day 2 and day 7 as per the itinerary. • Camping/Home stay during the trek. 2. All meals while on trek (Veg + Egg) : from day 3 lunch to day 7 packed lunch. 3. Trek equipments: Sleeping bag, mattress, tent (twin sharing), kitchen & dinning tent, toilet tent, utensils and crampon (if required). 4. First aid medical kits, stretcher & oxygen cylinder. 5. Mountaineering qualified & professional trek Leader, guide, cook and Support staff. 6. Transport from Leh guest house to Zinchen and return from Chokdo as per the itinerary. 7. Mules to carry the central luggage.  

1. Any kind of personal expenses. 2. Airfare and pickup and drop from airport. 3. Food in Leh. 4. Any kind of emergency evacuation charges 5. Necessary permits, entry fees etc.  6. Mules or porter to carry personal luggage. 7. Anything not specifically mentioned under the head. 8. Insurance. 10. Environment fee/inner line permit : Rs. 600 per person

Things can be provided on demand and availability (participant has to pay extra for these things)

1- Satellite phone/setphone -  is a type of mobile phone that connects via radio links via satellites orbiting the Earth instead of terrestrial cell sites like cellphones. Therefore, they can operate in most geographic locations on the Earth's surface.

2- Gamow/PAC HAPO Bag (Portable Hyperbaric Bag) -  is a unique, portable hyperbaric chamber for the treatment of acute mountain sickness (AMS), also known as altitude sickness.

3- AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) -  are portable life-saving devices designed to treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, a medical condition in which the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly

Insurance is mandatory  and can be obtained through TTH or other providers. Non-Indian rates are slightly higher, trek coordinator will share the balance payment link after booking. If you choose not to book through us, we will refund your insurance fee; email us immediately after booking for the refund.

Normally TTH expect to carry your personal luggage on your own, if you wish to offload your backpack, you can give it to Mule/porter. Charges of offloading backpack for entire trek:- INR 4200/- if you make an online payment, 10 days in advance INR 4500/- if you inform us after reaching Leh The backpack cannot weigh more than 11 kgs. Backpack should have waterproof cover. Suitcases/strolleys/ bags will not be allowed.  

The fee can be paid by online transfer/Check deposit/Cash deposit/Demand draft. Instruction for payment will be forwarded along with your confirmation email. When your transfer is done, please e-mail us a confirmation mail with your transfer details, so that we can follow up your reservation efficiently.  

Cancellation terms:

For the cancellation of services due to any avoidable/unavoidable reasons, Trek The Himalayas must be notified of the same in writing at [email protected]   At the time we receive your written cancellation, refunds based on the total fare are as follows.

Cancellations prior to 25 days from the start of the Trip

Refund options

  • 5% deduction of trek fee
  • 100% cash voucher for any trip till one year

Cancellation between 24 days and 15 days to the start of the Trip

  • 30% deduction of trek fee
  • 100% cash voucher for same trip till one year
  • 85% cash voucher for any trip till one year

Cancellation between 14 days and 10 days to the start of the Trip

  • Book the same trek, in the same season, with any other batch
  • 50% deduction of trek fee
  • 80% cash voucher for same trip till one year
  • 70% cash voucher for any trip till one year

Cancellation less than 9 days to the start of the trek

  • Transfer your trek (same trek, same batch) to your friend
  • No cash refund
  • 20% cash voucher for the same trip till one year
  • 10% cash voucher for any trip till one year

In the unlikely event that TTH cancels a trek prior to the scheduled departure date:

While it is extremely rare for TTH to cancel a trek, we understand that unforeseen circumstances or natural disasters may occasionally require us to do so before the scheduled departure. These circumstances could include continuous rain or snow, thunderstorms, snowstorms, landslides, floods, earthquakes, or any other natural calamity that poses a risk to the safety of our trekkers. Additionally, unforeseeable events such as local riots, curfews, pandemics, lockdowns, government orders, or any similar situations that compromise the safety of the trekking experience may also necessitate a cancellation.

In the event of such a cancellation, TTH will provide you with a voucher equivalent to the amount you paid for the trek. This voucher can be redeemed for any of our treks within the next year, allowing you to still enjoy an adventure with us at a later date.

  • The issuance of a voucher is not applicable in situations where you are required to descend from the trek for any reason. The trek leader may make the decision to send you down from the trek due to factors such as insufficient fitness level, symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), high blood pressure, exceeding the designated turn-around-time, health concerns, or if you are found smoking, drinking, or violating the rules set for the trek. In such cases, the provision of a voucher does not apply.

In the rare event that TTH shifts a trek:

We would like to emphasize that weather conditions in high-altitude areas are highly unpredictable and can undergo sudden changes at any time, irrespective of the day. Additionally, circumstances beyond our control, such as natural disasters, political unrest, pandemics, and lockdowns, may impact the feasibility of conducting a trek. In cases where we are unable to proceed with an event due to such circumstances that are beyond our direct control, we will make every effort to provide you with an alternative trek that is safer and more suitable.

In such situations, we will issue a voucher to offset the cost difference between the originally scheduled trek and the alternative trek. This voucher can be redeemed at any time within one year from the date of issue. Please note that a refund fee or reimbursement of the cost difference is not applicable in these cases.

  • Change of trek batch is dependent on the availability of seats in the batch
  • In case of transferring a trek to a friend, he/she should satisfy all the mandatory requirements put forward by TTH
  • TTH holds the right to change/cancel the policies, without prior notice
  • Cash refund is applicable only in case of bookings made without using any promotional offer code or vouchers

Cash Voucher Terms:

  • This is a non-transferable voucher
  • The voucher cannot be merged with any other offer of Trek The Himalayas
  • The voucher is valid for Trek booked directly with Trek The Himalayas in India
  • To avail the voucher please use your register phone number or e-mail id
  • All the other Terms of booking a trek with Trek The Himalayas are applicable to the voucher
  • Trek The Himalayas holds rights to add/remove any of the Terms and Conditions without prior notice

Itineraries are based on information available at the time of planning and are subject to change. "Trek The Himalayas" reserves the right to change expedition dates, people or itineraries as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed or the itinerary changed due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, airline schedules, sickness, or other contingency for which TTH or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays and/or other changes are the responsibility of the participant. TTH reserves the right to decline, or accept, any individual as a trip member for any reason whatsoever.

  • Personal Utilities
  • Medical & Disclaimer Form (Mandatory Documents) Read more
  • Health Awareness for Trekking in the Himalayas Read more
  • Mandatory Documents to bring on a trek Read more

Fitness regime for:

Calculate Your BMI :

Your BMI value is

Congratulations, your body is in good conditions!

  • If your BMI is normal, you can plan your fitness regime as mentioned.
  • If your BMI is not normal, consult your trusted physician before you plan your fitness regime.
  • If you're suffering from any chronic illnesses consult a medical practitioner.

markha valley trek in winter

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Satopanth lake trek, khopra ridge, sar pass trek, ranthan kharak trek, frequently asked questions.

While it is not mandatory to hire a guide for the Markha Valley Trek , it is highly recommended, especially if you are new to the area or inexperienced in trekking. A guide can help you navigate the route, provide information about the local culture and history, and ensure your safety throughout the trek.

The best time to do the Markha Valley Trek is from mid-June to mid-September when the weather is relatively mild and dry. However, it is important to note that the weather in the mountains can be unpredictable, and trekkers should be prepared for sudden changes in temperature, precipitation, and other weather conditions.

The Markha Valley Trek is a moderately difficult trek that requires a good level of physical fitness. Trekkers should be able to hike for 5-6 hours a day, sometimes at high altitudes, and carry a backpack weighing up to 10 kg. Prior trekking experience is helpful, but not necessary.

Yes, altitude sickness is a concern on the Markha Valley Trek, as the highest point on the trek reaches an altitude of 5,212 meters. Trekkers should take proper precautions, such as acclimatizing gradually, staying hydrated, and taking medication if necessary.

Accommodation on the Markha Valley Trek is primarily in basic guesthouses and homestays, with limited options for camping. Trekkers should be prepared for rustic conditions and bring their sleeping bags and other camping gear if they plan to camp.

The Markha Valley is home to a variety of wildlife, including ibex, blue sheep, marmots, and various species of birds. While sightings are not guaranteed, trekkers should keep an eye out for these animals and respect their habitats.

Yes, permits are required for the Markha Valley Trek , as it passes through the Hemis National Park. These permits can be obtained from the park office in Leh or through a trekking agency.

Trekkers should bring appropriate clothing and footwear for trekking in mountainous terrain, as well as a sleeping bag, camping gear (if camping), and a backpack. Other essential items include sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a water bottle, a first aid kit, and any necessary medications. It is also important to bring cash for food, lodging, and other expenses along the way.

The starting point of the Markha Valley Trek is the village of Chilling, which can be reached by road from Leh. Private taxis and shared taxis are available for hire, and some trekking agencies also offer transportation services.

Yes, the Markha Valley Trek can be done in reverse, starting from the village of Shang Sumdo and ending in Chilling. However, this route is less popular and may require additional planning and preparation.

Markha Valley trek: How to do it independently

By Joan Torres 28 Comments Last updated on September 6, 2023

markha valley trek in winter

Yaks grazing on green plains at an altitude of 5,000m, white snow-covered peaks higher than 6,000m, extensive valleys surrounded by huge, rocky mountains and a strong Tibetan culture with deep roots: the Markha Valley trek is the perfect hike for those seeking both stunning Himalayan landscapes and experience real Tibetan culture .

Markha Valley is one of the most popular treks in Ladakh, but it’s still a hundred times more authentic than the popular treks offered in Nepal.

Tourism in Ladakh is still emerging and, today, you can walk around Markha for hours and yet not meet any soul apart from Tibetan shepherds.

Keep reading: A travel guide to Ladakh

Markha Valley trek, Ladakh

The Markha trek goes alongside a river called Markha, a tributary of the Zankskar. This river is surrounded by big, rocky mountains which give shape to the valley.

Along the valley, there are numerous Tibetan settlements that have turned into small villages, made of mud-brick houses, and Buddhist gompas .

For centuries, this region was totally isolated from modern society, until it was discovered in the 19th century.

Today, Tibetans from Markha Valley make a living from the few trekkers that pass by during the summer months.

What are you going to find in this guide?

Table of Contents

Trekking details

  • How many days are needed?
  • How much does the Markha trek cost?
  • Do you need a guide?

Transportation: How to get there and back?

  • Markha Valley trek map
  • Itinerary day by day

Accommodation

  • Food and water
  • Packing list

Length:  96km / 50km Duration: 4-9 days When to go:  June to September Highest point:  5,200m Lowest point:  3,200m Difficulty:  Medium (experienced beginners)

How many days are needed to complete the Markha Valley hike?

You need a minimum of 4 days and a maximum of 9 , depending on where you start from:

Spitok – Starting from Spitok involves walking for between 6 and 9 days. During the first 2-3 days (40km), you walk through rocky areas until you cross Ganda La pass, at 4,970m. From there, you start descending until you get into the actual Markha river.

Chilling –  This place is located on the Markha river itself, which means that you skip the first 2-3 days needed to get there. From Chilling, trekkers take between 4 and 6 days to complete the trail. That’s the option I chose.

Read: A beginner’s guide to trekking in Kyrgyzstan

Authentic Tibetan Shepherd living at 4,500m near Nimaling, Ladakh

Do you need a guide to complete the Markha Valley trek in Ladakh?

No, you don’t need a guide at all. You can do it independently without any problem. Let me tell you why:

The key is to follow the horse shit –  It seems like a joke but, actually, there is plenty of horse shit along the trail, which will tell you the route to follow. Locals use these animals as a way of transportation when moving between villages.

Shepherds and local Tibetans –  If animal manure disorientates you, don’t worry because, along the way, you will meet loads of shepherds, with their herd and their horses, who you can ask for directions.

Tibetan villages –  Additionally, you will encounter villages every 2-4 hours, where you can also ask whether you are going in the right direction or not.

A randoom Tibetan shepherd in Markha Valley, Ladakh

Markha Valley trek cost: Price with guide vs price by yourself

Price with guide.

I asked several trekking agencies in Leh and, as an average, this would be the price for one person. If you were with more people, it would decrease slightly, obviously:

4 days x 4,000INR per day =  16,000INR (240USD)

It includes:

A guide Round trip transportation Accommodation in either homestay or tent 3 meals a day

Price without a guide

Transportation from Leh to Chilling –  A taxi costs around 2,800INR (43USD). If you don’t have anyone to share it with, I suggest you find a local who can you take there by motorbike. I paid 1,500INR (23USD).

Accommodation and food –  Both homestay and tents cost 1,200INR (16.50USD), including dinner, breakfast and a picnic lunch box.

Transportation back to Leh –  Taxis from Shang Sumdo (the ending point) to Leh cost 2,500INR (40USD). However, occasionally, early in the morning, you can find local transportation. I paid 500INR (8USD).

Total Cost = 1,500INR + 4 days x 1,200INR + 500 =  6,300INR (87USD)

Taking a picture over Markha valley at 4,800m

From Leh to Chilling

Chilling is located 65km from Leh and it takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach it. Taxis can easily be booked for 2,800INR ($43).

If you can’t find anyone to share it with, unofficially, you can find a motorbike taxi. How? Just ask at the different agencies.

Most of them will tell you that they don’t offer this service but keep asking until you find one. I paid 1,500INR ($23).

From Shang Sumdo to Leh

Shang Sumdo is the ending point of the Markha Valley trek and the first village which vehicles can reach. There are taxis expecting to take you to Leh for 2,500INR ($43).

Once again, if you are just by yourself, you can either wait for other trekkers to come or go back to Leh by public transportation.

Occasionally, there are local taxis leaving at 6am. You just need to be lucky. Ask anybody around for this information. 

The road that connects Leh with Chilling

Markha Valley trek map (Ladakh)

Markha Valley trek itinerary: Day by day route

Please note that the following day by day itinerary starts from Chilling, which is the one I followed.

Day 1: Chilling – Sara

Length: 19km Duration: 8hr Highest point: 3,710m Lowest point: 3,200m

On the first day, the tough part is only during the first 5km, where you need to climb until you reach the Markha Valley itself. Afterwards, it becomes completely flat.

You’ll pass some villages, the biggest one being  Skyu , where you can get a cooked meal.

The river flows through a valley which becomes greener as you keep going, but the aggressive surrounding mountains are brownish and arid.

Sara is a village comprised of just a few houses where you can find a few homestay options. However, I didn’t sleep there, but in a beautiful campsite located just a few kilometers before. It was set up on a green plain, the perfect spot to spend the night, chill out and meet other trekkers.

Markha Valley trek follows the Markha river for the most part of it

Day 2: Sara – Markha

Length:  8km Duration:  4hr Highest point:  3,850m Lowest point:  3,710m

This is the shortest, flattest and most relaxing part of the whole hike. The landscape is pretty similar to that of the previous day, but the mountains are sharper.

Honestly, you could easily continue walking to a further village, but Markha is sort of a special place, worth spending half a day in. 

It’s the capital of the valley, hence the village with more things to do and see, from a couple of Buddhist gompas , to peasants working in the fields, playing with children or admiring the landscape.

By the way, don’t expect Markha to be a metropolis, as it is composed of no more than 20 houses spread around a big area.

A local Tibetan looking over Markha Village, Ladakh

Day 3: Markha – Thachungtse

Length:  12.5km Duration:  6hr Highest point:  4,300m Lowest point:  3,850m

On the third day, things start to become really interesting. Just a few hours after Markha, you can make out Kang Yaze peak, a mountain 6,150m.

If you are lucky, you can also spot some Himalayan deer. You need to keep following the valley until Hankar , situated at the half-way point, and where you can also get a warm meal (or spend the night if you like).

When you leave Hankar behind, you need to get off the valley by turning left at some point. Don’t worry, you can’t miss it.

From there, the trail becomes tougher than ever. You will have to ascend 500m in just a few kilometers before reaching Thachungste .

The views are superb, especially because you are getting closer and closer to Kang Yaze.

Thachungste is a camping site at above 4,300 meters, placed just next to a mighty river and where hundreds of strange, tiny rabbits wander all over the place.

Day 4: Thachungste – Nimaling – Shang Sumdo

Length:  20km Duration:  11hr Highest point:  5,200m Lowest point:  3,810m

The toughest part of the whole trek but, at the same time, the most rewarding. Most hikers split this stage into two and spend one night in Nimaling . I decided to do it in one day. It depends on you.

The first stretch from Thachungste to Nimaling is breathtaking.

You ascend from 4,300m to 4,800m in just 9km, passing herds of yaks and hairy Himalayan horses and very authentic Tibetan shepherds.

The landscape has loads of contrasts and, at one point, you can look to your left and see a green field with Kang Yaze in the background and to the right, gray and purple rocky mountains.

Kang Yaze reflected on a lake, during Markha Valley trek

Nimaling  is located in a huge green plain, full of yaks. There’s quite a big campsite set up. At a normal pace, you might reach Nimaling in 3hr. You can either spend the night here or continue walking.

As soon as you leave the plains of Nimaling, you start directly going up to Gongmaru La pass , located at 5,200m and the highest point of the trek.

The ascent is hard but the views you get both right and left are impressive. When you finally reach the top, recover your breath, rest for an hour and enjoy the views.

A yak laying on the plains of Nimaling, Markha Valley trek

After the pass, you just need to go down. The way is extremely steep and you have to descend 1,500m in just 4hr. At the end of the trail, you get to a river which flows through a valley.

Follow it and, after 4hr, you should reach the end point, Shang Sumdo .

The trail is a bit confusing since sometimes, the way is blocked and you need to go over the valley but then go down again.

Once you are in Shang Sumdo, have a rest over a couple of beers. From here, you can go to Leh by car.

Views from Gongmaru La pass, at 5,200m

Unless you are bringing your own tent, there are two types of accommodation:

Homestays –  Most Tibetans have a spare room with 3 to 4 mattresses on the floor for trekkers. They charge you 1,000INR ($15) including dinner, breakfast, a picnic lunch box and all the tea and cookies you want. If you are lucky, the family will invite you to sit with them for dinner. Some of them will make the effort and try to start a conversation, even though their English is not good.

Camping sites –  Along the route, Tibetans have set up exclusive campsites for trekkers. The price is also 1,000 rupees per tent, including meals as well. Tents are well-prepared and have a thick mattress and blankets.

Home-stay during Markha Valley trek is the best way to mingle with Tibetan families

Food, water, and showers

Food –  As you would expect, food is, definitely, not the highlight of this trek. In homestays, they will always serve you dal  (lentils) and rice and chapati (flat Indian bread) with jam and butter for breakfast. The picnic lunch box consists of a slice of bread, some cheese, a potato and one piece of fruit. If you are very lucky, you might get some eggs for breakfast. In the villages, you can get some extra dishes, such as instant noodles or skyu , a traditional Tibetan dish consisting of stew with flour balls.

Water – Bottled water is not sold across Markha Valley, but they drink from the river. The water you buy has previously been boiled and filtered by the locals. It costs 15INR (23¢) per liter. Bring your own bottle.

Shower – There are no showers. If you want to wash, you should go to the river. Furthermore, the few toilets you find are holes on the ground. Personally, I prefer going into the bushes.

Markha Valley trek: Packing List

Travel Insurance – In the mountains, accidents do happen. Remember to always have insurance. I strongly recommend buying  World Nomads .

A backpacking tent for high altitude mountains – If you don’t want to pay for accommodation, bringing your own tent, will make things much cheaper. I recommend a Freelite 2 , which is the one I bought in 2017.

A warm sleeping bag –  At high altitudes, nights can be freezing. I recommend a Kelty Cosmic 20º , which I bought in 2017, as well.

A camping stove – To save yourself from buying non-tasty meals, bring your own cooking equipment and stock up on supplies in Leh. If I was you, I would get a multi-fuel stove, which works with any kind of flammable liquid, such as white gas, pure alcohol, gasoline, and diesel. I recommend you buy the MSR XGK EK multi-fuel stove .

For purifying water – Supposedly, the water sold by the locals is boiled but, if you are not entirely sure about it or you just don’t want to pay for mountain water, you should always bring purifying tablets or a Steripen .

Warm clothes – From proper hiking pants to a warm jacket and thick socks. As I said before, nights can be freezing at above 4,000 meters.

A Kindle – If you don’t have a Kindle, perhaps, it’s time to buy one. At night, you will have nothing to do but read and you know that books are heavy to carry.

Solar protection –  As you keep on ascending, you also get closer to the sun, hence its rays become more lethal. Please note that in August, the sun is extremely strong.

A hat or a cap – The sun is extremely harsh, especially in summer.

Diamox – High altitude sickness is very common among travelers who go to Ladakh. Why? Because most of them reach Leh by plane, which is already at 3,500m. The altitude change is too drastic and some hikers don’t have enough time to acclimatize. Before going to Markha Valley, I would spare 3 or 4 days resting in Leh. For the trek, bring Diamox with you, which is a medicine that helps to fight against altitude sickness.

Keep reading:

The ultimate guide to travel to Ladakh Top 100 outdoor blogs

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markha valley trek in winter

28 comments

How about that dude living solo at 4500 meters?

I always appreciate folks who live alone in remote outposts. They have mastered this fear of being alone, and lonely, as we are social creatures who crave connection, at least after a few weeks or months.

I lived 3 hours away from civilization in the jungle a few years ago. Nothing like these remote spots you write of up top, but still, the 1 dude who lived down the road was someone I admired. He spent most of his life in the jungle with animals, versus in town with humans, save 1 day a week. Impressive.

Brilliant pictures Joan.

Hey! Just some news one year later about that Valley, I did the trek the last week of September. Some more info for readers coming till that comment part 🙂 Pros: we were no more than 3-5 foreigners sleeping in the main villages(sky, Markha, nyimaling camp), perfect for talking to locals. No organise group anymore! Cons: it’s getting cold (-5 nyimaling) and camps are closing About itinerary, I skipped a day too, but by walking from Markha to nyimaling in a day(7.5hrs) witch is hard but doable Something else, if you have time, don’t skip the part between zinchen and skyu, the first pass is incredible and the way down to skyu too! Hoped I helped some.

Hi Leroy, thanks for your tips man! Yes, it was definitely useful. Good to know that they are starting to close camps the last week of September. And yes, perhaps I should encourage people to do the first pass 🙂 I hope you enjoyed man!

Just reading through these lines really have me excited about my upcoming trip to Leh! Is there a specific guide/company you would recommend? Is it better to book in advance or only once on site? Thanks so much for your help!

Hi Val, I went there independently so can’t recommend a specific tour company. However, in order to know the prices which are shown in this article, I asked several agencies and all of them were asking for the same price, more or less. You MUST book it once you are in Leh. You will save 50% of your money and don’t worry, because there are dozens of different trekking agencies. Go there and, on the first or second day, just ask at 4 or 5 agencies and choose your favourite one :9 Cheers,

Hi, thank you for the great summary of the trek! I am going to Leh during my world travel and therefor I wanted to ask if you brought all your equipment from home or did you buy it in Leh (I heard you can get everything there for a fair price). I would be travelling in warm regions before going there, so I am not that much into carrying everything with me for months… Thank you, Mario

Hi Mario, yes, you can buy it in Leh but the quality won’t be as good. For example, you can buy a super warm sleeping bag which could keep you warm at -8ºC but it is going to weight 5kg. It’s always better to buy the brands you like in your home country. Cheers!

Thank you for this great description! We are gonna do this trek in June. We won’t bring a tent en would like to spend the nights at the homestays as you described. Do we also need a warm sleeping bag over there? Or do they have enough blankets? I would like to go with a light down sleeping bag and a fleece liner. Do you think that will be okay?

Thank you so much! Loore

Hey Loore, they have extremely warm blankets, no need to worry about that 😉

We are also doing this trek in June! Do you have an itinerary yet? I am so excited. Can’t wait till June 🙂

Hi Teresa, in June we will be around the Caucasus. You meant my itinerary, right? Otherwise, the trekking itinerary in on the post, if that is what you were asking 😉

Hello. This has been a very interesting and informative read. Can this trek be joined at Chilling through the Hemis National Park?

I am not sure to be honest

Hi Really nice information about trek. I just want to ask if your tips and advice are valid for longer version of Markha Valley Trek (7-8 days from Spituk). I would like to walk a longer option sleeping in homestays. As I understand no GPS needed. Just a map. Thanks. Darius

Hey Darius, yes, they definitely are valid for the longer route

Hey! Thanks for the detailed info. Just some question about what to bring and where to sleep. I plan to do the Markha valley independently in early June but in reverse to go up to Stok at the end. Are home stays comfortable or should I bring a lightweight mattress? (I saw in another comment that warm blankets were no problem). And I don’t need to bring a tent right?

Als for the food should I bring a stove? From what I understood the food there is not amazing. Cheers Kevin

Hi Kevin, there are homestays and campsites along the way, so you should be fine. As per the food, well, it is very simple food, like daal and rice mainly, but I don’t think you are going to cook much better with a simple camping stove

My gf and I are planning a trip to Leh to hike Ladakh in july. We are vers confused abort the weather as we read a lot of different infomation and advice when and when not to travel. How will the weather usually be in july and can you recommend the Markha Valley in this month?

Hi John, July is the best month of the year to trek the Markha Valley

Hello, From my research, Mid-June to september are treakking seasons in Leh. Can you do the Markha Valley trek in and around last week of August ? Also about the guide availability, can you get a guide for just one indiviual ? I tried asking around a few agencies over email and they were only doing “group tours”, not that I have a problem with that.

Hi Jimmy, if you look for an agency once you are in Leh, you’ll be able to find them. End of August is very doable.

Hi, we’re going to Ladakh at the end of August – do you think, there will be enough capacity in the homestays or in the campsites to stay , even though it will be the tourist season? Because I think Ladakh’s treks have become more popular these days… And one more question – is it necessary to bring our own mosquito net? Thanks 🙂

Hi, there should be enough capacity. I don’t think they would allow someone sleep outside, if that person didn’t have a tent. As per mosquito net, they didn’t provide you with one, so you can bring one along

Unfortunately the packing list is a bunch of hogwash.

The great thing about this trek is, you dont need a tent or a stove or food. You only need a thick sleeping bag in peak season, otherwise everywhere including Nimaling will have enough blankets.

I was mislead by this list and envied 95% of other trekkers who had much lighter load. At 5000m every kg makes a difference.

The packing list clearly states that if you don’t want to pay for accommodation, bringing your own tent will make things much cheaper and, to save yourself from buying non-tasty meals, bring your own cooking equipment and stock up on supplies in Leh.

Never said that those items were a must, so the fault is yours.

Hey Joan, thanks a lot for the great description! My gf and I are planning to do the trek in June. I am wondering, do you need to reserve homestays (can you even?), or do just show up? You said in a previous reply that you think capacity would not be an issue, do you think that’s true in late June? Many thanks 🙂

UPDATE JUNE 2023

The small stream in the valley from Nimaling to Chogdo is overflowing with melting water at the moment. As there are 20+ river crossings it is extremely dangerous to descend that way. If you can avoid this part and have time to return the way you came up, do so!

After a really nice and easy trek up to Nimaling, we attempted to climb down from Nimaling to Chogdo on the 25th of June via the Konmaru La East Pass. The first bit after the pass, was steep and a little sketchy but well manageable with some experience and sturdy footwear. Unfortunately after that we were facing massive amounts of water flowing down the valley to Chogdo. After crossing the river twice (slipping and falling, almost losing our backpacks and hiking poles) we decided to wait until the next morning as water levels were expected to go down during the night. Which means we got stuck halfway on the mountain at 4500 meters and ended up staying the night emergency bivouacing (sharing 3 sleeping bags and one emergency bivouac bag between the 7 of us). We were lucky to be a group of (semi-)experienced trekkers who could make it down safely the next morning starting at around 4.30 am.

Moreover, travel agencies and locals in the camp in Nimaling do not seem to care or do not know any better, so do not expect warning from their side. Also there is no reception on the descend and even satellite phones do not work as they’re blocked in Ladakh. Stay alert and safe!

You keep refering to them as Tibetans. They are not Tibetans, they are Ladakhi people from Ladakh, India. Culturally though they are similar to Tibetans.

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Shashi Shanbhag

Winter Markha Valley Trek – 66 km in 6 days

Hike to Ganda La

Kasturi and I were in Ladakh for 12 days in December 2019 to do the Markha Valley Trek. I have shared my experience in three blog posts, and this is the second in the series. The  first post  describes our time in Leh before the trek, and the third post is about our day trips around Leh after the trek. Continue reading to know what it is like to hike Markha Valley in winter and to meet some interesting characters – BlackSmith, Rider, Climber and an Ultrarunner.

Markha Valley Trek – DIY or Guided?

Markha Valley Trek is probably one of the most popular treks in Ladakh. There is lot of information online about this trek, so I debated for a long time on whether to hire a guide or to do it ourselves. Here are the things I considered to make a decision:

  • Group Experience  – is this an experienced group? Have we done similar treks as a group?
  • Terrain  – how familiar are we with this terrain? How is it in winter?
  • Rescue  – if something goes wrong, are we capable of managing the situation? What if one of us was to get Altitude Sickness? 
  • Porter support  – is everyone in the group fit enough to carry a 30-40 lb backpack for the duration of the trip at high altitude?

An honest evaluation of these items favoured hiring a guide with porter support.

Ecological Footprint

Once we had finalized to do Markha Valley trek, I started reaching out to local trek operators to see if they still operated in December (most operate June-September). Stanzin at Ecological Footprint stood out for his responsiveness among the agencies I had contacted. He confirmed that he would be able to organize the trek for us. Hence, we booked our trip with Stanzin.

The day after we arrived in Leh, Stanzin came to Sia La guesthouse with Ali, who would be our guide for the trek. The plan was to do a gear check and go through the itinerary. Our original trek plan was to start from Zingchen, hike over two mountain passes Kongmaru La and Ganda La, and finish the trek at Shang Sumdo. La in Tibetan means (mountain) pass.

Markha Valley Trek Map

Markha Valley Trek - Map

Change of Plans

Stanzin said there is more snow than he expected. As a result, we won’t be able to do Kongmaru La. The new plan was to trek till Markha and then come back to Skiu. I was disappointed as hiking to Kongmaru La was the highlight of the trek. However, I was glad that we would at least get to walk through Ganda La. 

As I mentioned in my  previous post , Brady had to go to the Emergency Room at the local hospital on our second day in Leh. After he was treated, Brady felt better in two hours. However, the doctor asked him to rest and do a follow-up after 2-3 days. I believe he had mild altitude sickness.

Kent, Kundan, Kasturi and I would start the hike as planned on December 3. Meanwhile, Brady would rest at the guesthouse and Stanzin would take him to the hospital on December 4. If the doctor said Brady was good to go on the trek, Stanzin would drop him off at Skiu. I know it was hard for Brady to miss the first three days, but there was no other option.

While we were away on the trek, Barb and Morgan would be exploring Likir and Alchi.

Day 1: Leh – Zingchen – Yurutse

December 3 : 5 km and 3 hours hike

The taxi to drop us off at Zingchen arrived at the guesthouse around 7:30 am. Stanzin was waiting with our guide Ali. Soon, Manish and Ravinder – two porters from the Jammu region arrived. 

Manish and Ravinder would be carrying military-grade sleeping bags, food, emergency oxygen and lunchboxes in addition to their gear. I am guessing their backpacks weighed at least 50 lb each.

Gear for Markha Valley Trek

Here is what I carried in my backpack –

Markha Valley Trek Backpack

I ended up using most of the items I had packed except for shell pants, insect repellent and cutlery. Once in Leh, we got some dry fruits from the market and made our trail mix. One item I wish we had packed was some kind of traction device like microspikes; these would have been great on the way to Shingo and our hike to Skiu.

After three hours of driving, the taxi dropped us off a couple of kilometres ahead of Zingchen. We started hiking at around 11:30 am. Shortly, we left the dirt road to get on the trail towards Yurutse. Although we were not hungry, we took a lunch break around 1 pm.

Each of us got a steel or plastic box. It had chapati, boiled potato, cheese slice, boiled egg, some salt, a chocolate bar and juice. It was a unique combination. Over the next few days, few items would change, but overall, lunch remained the same.

Zingchen to Yurutse Hike

After three hours of hiking Yurutse was in sight. It was an easy hike with minimal elevation gain. 

Yurutse – One Family Village

Yurutse Village - Markha Valley Trek

Just one family lived in this village. An old lady was sitting outside in the sun doing some chores, while everyone else in the family had gone to a nearby town. 

Ali talked to the lady and arranged our homestay for the night. We got one room with four beds and blankets. There was no electric/gas heating in homestay. Rooms are heated primarily using wood stove (Bukhari) for a limited time. Some homes have solar panels that provide enough electricity for some essential lighting and charging needs.

Toilets in these remote regions are dry composting ones. It’s a small room with a hole in the floor and a composting area below. After each use, you dump some mud with a shovel. For a region that receives minimal rainfall, I think it is an ingenious system.

For now, we made ourselves comfortable in the kitchen with a cup of hot tea.

Chai Time is Chat Time

markha valley trek in winter

The conversation got interesting pretty soon. The lady would say something in Bodhi (local language), Ali would translate it in Hindi, and then I would interpret in English. Later, Kent would ask a question, and we would go the other way. Ali’s English was pretty good, and he would spare me the trouble once in a while.

Later in the afternoon, the rest of the family arrived. The lady’s son and daughter-in-law…no wait; there was someone else as well—a baby wrapped around the son’s back. If Ergobaby saw this baby wrap, they would probably patent it.

Kasturi in Ladakh

Kunsal was ten months old. He was amused to see all these strangers in his grandma’s kitchen, but he hung around and allowed us to entertain him. For dinner we had rice, dal and a vegetable curry.

A big group of locals arrived later in the evening. We had seen these locals earlier in the day as they were doing some survey work in the mountains. In a year or two, there might be a road to Yurutse.

Ladakhi Kitchen

There was another kitchen where these locals were having tea and dinner. After dinner, we got a quick tour of the house. The other kitchen was much bigger, and I was blown away by the number of utensils they had.

markha valley trek in winter

After a quick chat with the local guests, we got back to our room. Kent was reading a book, and Manish had got the woodstove going. The woodstove would keep us warm for at least an hour or two. After figuring out the optimal combination of our layers and blanket/sleeping bag, we called it a night.

Yurutse Homestay Room

Day 2: Yurutse – Ganda La – Shingo

December 4:  11 km and 10 hours hike

Breakfast was at 8 am, and we had chapati, butter, omelette and tea. We had slept well, had a good breakfast and were ready for the big day. At least that’s what we thought.

For the first hour, the hike was not steep. Soon we were at a summer campsite. After a quick break, we continued with our walk. Now there was snow on the trail, and it got steeper.

Yurutse to Ganda La - Markha Valley Trek

Ganda La – takes your breath away – Literally!

In 2018, Kasturi had a skiing accident resulting in a high-grade ACL and MCL tear in her left leg. It had taken more than a year of physiotherapy for her to feel comfortable on steep long-distance hikes. She had done multiple hikes back in Vancouver to prepare for this, but Ganda La was a different beast. The high altitude made everything difficult.

Kasturi was exhausted. She could barely walk for a few minutes before stopping to catch her breath. She handed her bag to Manish. Later, Kundan and Kent were also helped by Ali and Manish to get to Ganda La. Asking for help is never easy. But given the exertion, altitude and the time, there was no other option.

Yurutse to Ganda La - Markha Valley Trek

From Yurutse to Ganda La, it’s roughly 810 m of elevation gain over 5 km. Grouse Grind in Vancouver has an elevation gain of 853 m over 2.9 km. An average person can do the Grind in an hour and a half. It took us six hours to get to Ganda La.  

Ganda La - Markha Valley Trek

Without Ali, Manish and Ravinder’s help, I don’t think the group could have made it to Ganda La in time.

Ali and I hiked up the small hill North West of the pass. As per Gaia maps, we were right around 5010 m (16,440 ft.). It’s the highest elevation that I have hiked/climbed so far.

Panoramiv view of Ganda La - Markha Valley Trek

When the going gets tough…

It was all downhill from Ganda la to Shingo, but it still took us roughly four hours to get to our homestay. Icy stream crossings were tricky to cross without any kind of traction gear.

Hike to Shingo

Kent leads a very active lifestyle. He had been hiking and training for the last few months in Kelowna. However, it was not possible to prepare for this elevation. It was his first time in a very high altitude environment, and it was physically very demanding. His mental toughness helped him overcome the challenges, and we all admired him for that.

Thoroughly exhausted, we reached Shingo at around 7 pm. Our homestay host was already busy preparing dinner for us. An eagle claw and fox tail was hanging in the kitchen. Locals consider these as good luck. It was a quick dinner and we were in bed by 8:30 pm. 

Day 3: Shingo – Skiu – Kaya

December 5: 7 km and 4 hours hike

After breakfast, we left Shingo at around 9:30 am. It was probably the coldest start we had on the trek since we were hiking in the shade for more than an hour.

Homestay in Shingo - Markha Valley Trek

The hike from Shingo to Skiu was going to test our skills on the ice. However, relative to Ganda La, everything seemed more manageable.

markha valley trek in winter

Around 1 pm we reached Skiu. We were happy to see Brady there. He had arrived a day before with Stanzin after he got an all-clear from the doctor in Leh hospital. He was super excited to join us. The monastery in Skiu was closed, so we continued our hike to Kaya.

On the way to Kaya, we saw a very basic watermill to grind flour. Occasionally a villager would stop by, check on the canal and use the watermill.

Watermill at Kaya - Markha Valley Trek

No Khaini….No Trek

Once in Kaya, Stanzin mentioned that Ravinder will now go back to Leh. For the rest of the trek, it will be just Ali and Manish with us. Ravinder had not packed enough Khaini (a form of chewing tobacco) for the trek, and he was not able to buy any in Kaya or Skiu. Without Khaini, he couldn’t carry on. So, Ravinder drove back to Leh with Stanzin.

After we dropped our bags in the room, we gathered around the kitchen for some hot tea and snacks, and more importantly, to keep warm.

We had a traditional Ladakhi dinner of Sku (like whole-wheat pasta) in a vegetable broth. It was delicious and filling. Back in our room, it was five of us now. I was closest to the stove and kept it going for a while. I was reading Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind.

Day 4: Kaya – Sara

December 6: 12 km and 5 hours hike 

Kundan woke up with a bad cold. He was sleeping close to the window and didn’t have enough blankets. Having done the hardest part of the trek, he decided to continue with us.

Skiu - Markha Valley Trek

The Blacksmith

On our way to Sara, we made a quick stop at the Blacksmith’s house in Skiu. Ali mentioned that the ancestors of this Blacksmith came from Nepal and settled in Skiu as the sand here was best suited for their profession.

markha valley trek in winter

The Blacksmith showed some of his recent creations. We bought a few items, and after a round of tea, we were back on the trail.

Blacksmith's House at Skiu - Markha Valley Trek

Markha Valley Wildlife

On our hike to Sara, we saw blue sheep. They were gracefully making their way up the mountain.

Blue Sheep - Markha Valley Trek

Winter in Ladakh also provides a unique opportunity to spot an endangered species – snow leopard. However, we didn’t get lucky and had to be content with stories of this elusive and solitary animal.

It was an easy hike to Sara, and by around 2:30 pm, we reached our homestay.

Skiu to Sara - Markha Valley Trek

A 16-year old boy welcomed us at the homestay. Winter vacation had started, and he had just returned home from Leh. First, he made some tea and then got busy making Chutagi (similar to a bow-tie pasta served in a vegetable broth).

Homestay at Sara - Making Chutagi

Later in the evening, a few more people arrived. One individual was in a traditional Ladakhi dress and was blind in one eye. When I asked what happened, he replied, “A childhood accident.” He had just come down from Nimaling riding his horse and was going to Skiu. He had left his horses at Nimaling to graze, and few didn’t bother to return, so he had gone to find them.

Nimaling, as you can see from Ju-Leh maps, is more than 40 km from Skiu and has an elevation gain of around 1500 m. Ali said he was the best rider in the valley and had won in local competitions. This rider was the Blacksmith’s son.

Day 5: Sara – Markha

December 7: 10 km and 3 hours hike

The hike from Sara to Markha has spectacular views of the valley. Locals were going from Markha to Skiu to catch the weekly bus or to pick up some supplies that would have arrived on the bus. We met no other hikers throughout our trek.

Sara to Markha - Markha Valley Trek

By noon we were already at our homestay in Markha. As you might have guessed by now, we got ourselves a cup of tea, some snacks and sat down admiring the view from the homestay.

The homestay owner said that during peak season, it is so busy that the trekkers occupy the entire farm. I was certainly glad we were there in the winter.

Sliding on Ice – Markha Style

Later in the afternoon, we hiked to the monastery in the village. On the way to the monastery was the Markha school. Right next to school, three kids were having fun on ice with their makeshift sleds. Sometimes they would chase each other, and at times they would compete to see who goes the farthest on ice. It was an absolute treat to watch.

Ali was nostalgic and said it reminded him of his childhood in Leh.

Markha Monastery

After a short hike, we were at the monastery.

Markha Monastery - Markha Valley Trek

Kundan had a good chat with the resident monk about his daily routine, different sects of Buddhism and their different philosophies. I am always amazed at how Kundan can pick up a conversation with anyone. Whether its a monk or a taxi driver, his genuine curiosity leads to a discussion about their daily life and helps him connect with individuals uniquely.

We hiked back to our homestay for dinner. Soon, we settled in for what seemed like our customary chat with some tea. Later, Ali, Manish and the homestay owner joined in on the discussion.

Brady shared his experiences – from working in the Canadian Arctic in Nunavut to adventures in Nepal. As he talked about the differences and similarities of distant cultures, the homestay owner asked, “How old is this guy?” I replied, “Early 30s.” He couldn’t believe it. It was a fun evening.

Day 6: Markha – Kaya

December 8: 22 km and 6 hours

After two days of cold, Kundan was feeling much better. He would need all his strength for a long 22 km walk back to Kaya.

On our way back, I spent some time hiking with Ali and Manish.

Climber and an Ultra-Runner

Ali usually guides technical climbing trips, but since it was winter, he was available to guide a trekking trip. We talked about the recent ban on climbing in Stok Kangri, his favourite climb – Kang Yatse-I and his plans to do some first ascents in the region.

Ali had climbed with people from all over the world. So, it was interesting to discuss the differences in climbing/gear techniques across regions. Also, Ali is an excellent photographer.

markha valley trek in winter

Manish had done several treks in the area. While he was not local, he knew the valley pretty well. A couple of years back, he did the 72 km Khardung La Challenge. Since the peak elevation is at around 5370 m and 60 km of the race above 4000 m, it is the highest ultra marathon in the world. Manish would have probably done the entire Markha Valley trek in half a day.

Mission Accomplished!

Skiu - Back from Markha Valley Trek

We reached Kaya around 3 pm and with that, we finished our Markha Valley trek. Finally, after months of planning, coordination and training, we had achieved our goal – of trekking together in the Himalayas and having a good time!

I offered to cook our last dinner, and to my surprise, the homestay lady agreed. So, Manish and I got busy making Veg-Fried Rice for our group as well as the family members – 13 people in total. Everyone survived the dinner. I had qualified to be a cook on Ali’s next expedition.

The next day we would drive back to Leh and explore nearby places.

Trek & Travel Tips –

Ecological Footprint – Stanzin was very responsive and was open to customize the trip for us. Most importantly, he was a massive help in getting Brady to the hospital for a follow-up visit and driving him to Skiu to join us after three days. Moreover, Stanzin provided gaiters, jackets and trekking poles at no extra cost. There are few things that Stanzin could have done better in terms of communication and logistics, but overall he did a good job.

TipToeLadakh   is Ali’s website on climbing and trekking expeditions.  

Acclimatization tips – First of all, rest at the guesthouse/hotel on your day of arrival. Secondly, if you are hiking to Leh Palace, do it at a relaxed pace. Maybe, add another day to acclimatization if feasible. Drink more water to avoid dehydration. Also, if you plan to take Diamox (Acetazolamide), please consult your doctor and local guide. Probably, you want to start the Diamox course before arriving in Leh. MedWild has an excellent video series on altitude illness.

Winter Gear – Because the temperature in some of the remote areas might drop below -20 C, you have to pack appropriate winter gear . Furthermore, make sure that you have a suitable sleeping bag. Homestays are not heated, so it is critical to have good insulation at night.

Disclosure: I am not affiliated with any of the above individuals or organizations.

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8 responses.

Superb Shashi! Enjoyed reading it! Looking forward for more.. Subscribed!!

Thanks a ton Veena.

Once again, it is interesting to see how times have changed in the Himalaya. I climbed Kang Yaze II (or the west peak of the mountain, which is technically straightforward) in 2001 and could see down the Markha Valley which we did not visit. We came in over the Kongmaru La and returned the same way to Martselang and Hemis. Here is the link to that story : https://taccidental.blogspot.com/2014/10/kang-yaze-trekking-peak.html

Thank Aloke for reading the post and for sharing the link to your post. In December, there was no other hiking group, so we had a good time at the homestays and enjoyed the hike.

Need some help.

Do you have a number of the Owner of Yurutse Home Stay?

Regards, Nikhil.

I think I replied to this, but I don’t see my comment. I do not have the number of the homestay in Yurutse.

Great article! We hope to do this trek in March next year, do you think it will be possible to do independently?

Thank you Leah. You can do it independently, assuming you have the right group and have experience doing remote high-altitude treks. Also, when you go might also help. In December, we did not see any other group, but it would be crowded earlier in the year. Our host in Markha said his entire farm is filled with tents in summer. Let me know if you need any additional information. Wish you the best!

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Markha Valley Trek - Ladakh

30 Jan - 06 Feb , 2024 | 08 Days

Inr 62,750 + 5% gst, highest altitude: 4150 m.

Hiking and trekking to elevations exceeding 4000-5000 meters, away from vehicular access, over multiple days. Encompasses demanding whitewater with Class IV rapids .

Group Size: 8-16 persons

One of the most popular treks in Ladakh, the proximity to Leh brings a lot of people to this valley. As bustling as this valley is in summer, the winter completely transforms this valley into a quiet vacation into the heart of Ladakh as few people have ever seen it. 

Beautiful landscapes, good chances to spot some high altitude wildlife, moderate terrain, beautiful high altitude landscapes, wild yaks and a homestay experience all make this trek a bucket list item. 

A perfect mixture of adventure, culture and beauty.

Markha Valley Trek - Ladakh

  • Day 1: Leh Airport – Hotel (3500 M)

Transfer to hotel. Relax and acclimatise. Visit Leh market in the evening.

  • Day 2: Leh (3500 M)

A day for acclimatization. Optional visit to the Leh palace and the Shey, Thikse and Hemis gompas. Last minute shopping in the Leh market.

  • Day 3: Leh – Chilling – Skiu (3400 M)

The trail goes through a flat and desolate plain along the river Indus and swings into the mountains along the pretty, willow-lined Zingchen gorge.

  • Day 4: Skiu – Markha (3700 M)

Today’s trail is not too strenuous, rising 300m over 22km, crossing the Markha river a couple times.There are a few ancient chortens along the trail, and a number of wolf pits used to trap wolves when they roam the valley during the winter months. Markha is a big village, complete with a derelict fort on the hillside and a small village monastery.

  • Day 5: Markha Exploration (4150 M)

Walk up from the villager to Thachungtse and view the magnificent Kang Yatse (6400m). On the walk there are sights of some fascinating geological creations of large boulders balanced precariously on top of consolidated earth spikes. Continue down over a bridge to Thachungtse, a lovely valley to camp in. A popular place to spot herds of blue sheep slide up and down the steep cliffs with incredible agility. Walk back to Markha Village.

  • Day 6: Markha – Skiu (3400 M)

We retrace our steps to Skiu Village.

  • Day 7: Skiu – Chilling – Leh (3500 M)

Walk 2 hours to get to our waiting vehicles at Chilling.  Our cars take us to Leh. Wash up & spend the evening shopping in Leh.

  • Day 8: Leh Hotel – Leh Airport

Early morning transfer to Airport for Leh – Delhi flight. Trip Ends!

markha valley trek in winter

  • All transfers as per the itinerary (Leh Airport to Leh Airport)
  • All arrangements for staying and camping while on trip
  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis in tents / hotel
  • All meals as mentioned in itinerary & safe drinking water
  • All trekking arrangements with India’s most experienced guiding team, camp staff and cooks
  • Porterage upto 15kg/person
  • Peak fee/sanctuary fee/royalty/permits where applicable
  • All common camping and trekking equipment
  • A guide for all monastery sightseeing Shey, Thikse, Hemis gompa
  • Sleeping bag
  • Flights not included in the above-mentioned cost
  • Any transfers or meals outside of itinerary
  • Bottled water
  • Items of personal clothing
  • Expenses of any personal nature (laundry / phone calls / alcohol / cigarettes / insurance / camera fee / etc.)
  • Any expense incurred due to force of nature such as landslides, bad weather or reasons beyond our control
  • Tips & gratuities (we recommend 5-10% of your trip cost- to be distributed among the team) – personal choice
  • Travel & cancellation insurance

FROM PREVIOUS EXPEDITIONS

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Life on an Aquaterra Trek

Life on an Aquaterra Trek

Markha Valley Trek - Ladakh

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Scream and Shout! For I just completed the hardest treks in the Himalayas, the lesser known Auden’s Col Trek. It tests you, beats you down but you when you summit starting in the wee hours of the morning you know that it couldn’t have been a better decision not for just the moment but for life. Read More

Rajat Rilach

Well what a wonderful trip it was, we were 14 climbers with about 60 helpers including guide and porters. It could not have been better, right from our stay at Kuflon to Pooja at Gangotri to climb to the Auden’s to stay at the glaciers and finally a walk through the forest which can beat the amazon. Read More

A difficult trek made so much easier by the professional, ever-ready-to-help, alert trek leaders of Aquaterra. The support staff was wonderful and made the hard days lighter by their cheerful attitude. All along it felt not like client and staff but friends out for a trek. Read More

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The Auden’s Col Trek is the Holy Grail of trekking in the Himalayan region of Garhwal in Uttarakhand, offering the finest multi-terrain challenge you will encounter.

The Auden’s Col is situated on the connecting ridge of Gangotri III (6577 m) and Jogin I (6465 m), small depression between the two mighty massifs – we approach the Col from Rudugaira glacier and descend through the ice falls and the heavily crevassed Khatling glacier. We start our expedition by driving up the Bhagirathi valley right till the end of the road at Gangotri. From here we move south towards the Gangotri range establishing a series of camps.

Markha Valley Aug 20-27

Markha Valley Trek - Ladakh

Beautiful landscapes, spot some high altitude wildlife, moderate terrain, beautiful high altitude meadows, wild yaks and a 5150m pass all make this trek a bucket list item.

Zanskar River Rafting Expedition Aug 06 – 17

Great lakes of kashmir trek jul 09 – 19.

The Great Lakes of Kashmir trek is set in an almost heavenly arena of high mountain vistas, endless pasturelands, and of course, the great lakes. Arguably the best way to witness the beauty of the Kashmir Himalaya, you will be rewarded with a palette of colours every single day that you walk on this trail. The relaxing terrain, deep blue coloured mountains and lush flower filled meadows make the going extremely pleasant.

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Parang La Jul 22-Aug 06

The Parang La trail follows the traditional trade route between the people of Spiti, Changthang and Tibet. It begins after the high-altitude meadows of Kibber, breeding ground of the famous Spiti horses and also known to be snow leopard country. A challenging trek for the enthusiastic walker in one of the more spectacular areas of Ladakh,the trail descends the Kibber gorge and then climbs over the Parang la (5600 m).Parang La is the source of the Pare Chu river, the only river that has its source in India, flows into Tibet and enters the country again in Spiti. Trekking across the pass, brings one to an almost incredible change of scenery as we walk towards the Rupshu plains of Changthang, known for the abundance of Kiangs (Tibetan Wild Ass).

markha valley trek in winter

On the last two days, we camp on spectacular campsites, one being on the southern edge of the Tso Moriri(4522m), a high-altitude lake 26 Km long and nearly 5 Km wide. This lake is also the breeding ground for the bar-headed geese, black-necked crane and the Brahminy ducks. We also visit one of the Changpa settlements in a bowl, high above Karzog, where they breed pashmina, one of the major trade items in these high passes.

Ruinsara Lake Jun 11 – 19

Trek through quaint villages, alpine meadows covered with wildflowers, moraine ridges and glacier basins to get magnificent views of Swargarohini – I, II, III, Bandarpoonch and Blackpeak – all this make for an excellent hike in early spring and the post monsoon.

Ruinsara Lake Trek

Himalayan Adventure Challenge – Tons Edition Jun 16 – 19

During a 3-day period in the summer of 2022, a brand new adventure challenge will unfold in the little known tons valley, bordering uttarakhand and himachal pradesh. nestled within the steep slopes and a densely forested hillsides of the valley lies the course in which 80 elite adventurers will test the limits of endurance in teams of 4 as they battle the natural environment, themselves and each other within this cradle of some of india’s most impressive scenery and intriguing cultures, a contest will unfold unlike any other of its kind., the tons edition offers three formats – a 30 km open challenge perfect for those just starting out in the outdoors, a 10 km open or family challenge for parents and children plus a 48 km zealot challenge involving biking, hiking and river rafting which is a true test of your endurance. hac caters to the novice, the weekend athlete, the hardcore adventurer, the endurance champions and even the family; making it india’s premier team racing event., bali pass trek may 07 – 15.

Meandering through the Govind Vihar sanctuary, Har Ki Dun Valley is rich culturally and a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers. Mythologically, it is the same trail taken by the Pandavas on their route to Heaven through the domineering massif of Swargarohini.

markha valley trek in winter

Tons Thriller River Expedition Apr 19 – 24

Amazing scenery, world class whitewater make this a premier expedition for the white water paddler. We run several rapids ranging from Class III to Class IV+/V, with whitewater sections separated by maybe a hundred yards or less of flat water. It aims to propagate the sheer adrenaline and magic of taking on 40 kms of quality whitewater from Gyunhatti till Tiuni, in what could possibly be, one of the finest whitewater experiences possible. Adrenaline pumping river days are followed by relaxed afternoons, to be spent under leafy alders and taking short hikes into the alpine forests.

Tons River Rafting

Dodital Lake Trek Mar 23 – 28

Dodital is said to be the birth place of Lord Ganesh, and is also the source of the Assi Ganga, a tributary to the Bhagirathi. It is named after the rare Dodi (Himalayan Trout) that can be found in this lake. A moderate trek which starts from the Bhagirathi valley, goes up to the lake of Dodital (wrapped in perfect wilderness) to the alpine meadows and tops out at Darwa Pass (4150m). Traditionally this trek has been continuously used by the Gujjars, the herdsmen who get their buffalos to the high meadows every summer and occasionally by the pilgrims/sadhus walking between Gangotri and Yamunotri.

We did it! Our very first trek, done and dusted

Har ki Dun Mar 28-Apr 04

Har Ki Dun Trek

Pangarchulla Climb Mar 19- 27

Pangarchulla becomes a beautiful climbing objective in the spring after having accumulated snow over the winter. An easy low peak which gives a good feel of a climb; plodding the crisp morning snow with amazing views of high mountains. This trip offers a challenge and loads of photo opportunities. Just perfect for anyone trying to wet their feet with their first Himalayan Summit.

markha valley trek in winter

Probably the best season to trek.

markha valley trek in winter

View our favourite treks from March-April-May

markha valley trek in winter

  • JUNGLE CAMPING
  • MAP READING
  • STRATEGY PLANNING
  • PAINTBALL GUNFIGHT
  • DRILLS & EXERCISES

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Markha Valley Trek – Ladakh’s Most Popular Trek

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Asia , India

markha-valley-trek-2

The Markha Valley Trek is one of the most spectacular and famous treks in the Ladakh region of India.

Located in the northwestern area of India, the Ladakh region is famed for its wildness and untouched beauty.

On this page, you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the Markha Valley Trek.

Markha Valley Trek

The Markha Valley Trek follows a stunning high valley with superb views across the mountain region and is one of the best ways to still experience the unique culture of the High Himalaya region . The Markha Valley trek follows the Markha River downstream taking in several high passes including Ganda La (15748 ft) and Kongmaru La, (17,060 ft). From both passes you get epic views across the landscape with the tall peaks of Kang Yissay and the 20,086 ft  Stok Kangri  coming into sight.

Not only is the trek one of mountain beauty, but it also takes trekkers through a landscape of ancient farming with many green irrigated fields and local villages being passed along the way. You’ll also experience several monasteries and meet the brightly dressed monks as they go about their daily lives. You’ll will be exposed to several waist-deep river crossings, high rocky canyons and explore many buddhists villages en-route.

Please Note:  The trek is moderately difficult due to the length and high altitude of both passes. There will be several steep trek ascents and you may have to walk over slippery scree on occasion. You will need to have a good level of stamina and fitness to have a really good time. Accommodation will generally be camping.

Regional Map

The Markha Valley Trek is located between the Zanskar and Ladakh in the Himalaya region of North-west India.

Please see the map below for details.

Chadar-trek-region-map

Markha Valley Hike Itinerary

Below is a detailed Markha Valley Trek itinerary. Please note that this is a typical itinerary that we would expect many operators to adhere to. However, some tour operators offer variations on this route. 

For example, it is not uncommon to start from Spituk and follow the route that leads to Hemis.

Day 1-3: Arrive Delhi - Transfer to Leh

From Delhi International Airport, you will need to take a domestic flight to the city of Leh. It is worth spending a day in Delhi if you have the time, as well in Leh, where you can visit Leh Market, Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa.

If you have more time, it is worth getting a taxi to visit the Shey Palace, Likir, Basgo and Alchi Monastery, Sangam and Thickset. If you’re lucky, you’ll witness the Grand Hemis Festival at Hemis monastery.

Day 4: Leh to Chogdo via Martselang (4½ hours)

You will need to get a jeep from Leh to the starting point at Martselang (3600 m). As you drive, you may be given the opportunity to visit the  Palace of Ladakh . The trek begins as one enters the Hemis National Park, where, if you’re lucky, you may glimpse endangered wildlife such as the elusive snow leopard, Tibetan wolf and the great Golden eagle. You will trek for several hours to the small village of Chogdo (4000 m).

Day 5: Chogdo 4000m – Nimaling 4700 m via Kongmaru La 5260 m (6-7 hrs)

Today begins with a steep ascent that leads to your first mountain pass – Kongmaru La (5260 m). The climb is worth it though as you get outstanding views of the north face of Kangyatse (6400 m), Zanskar and the  epic Karakoram range . After taking in the view you then descend down towards the greener pastures of Nimaling. It is here that you will meet villagers who spend the summer months tending their herds. You camp the night here.

Day 6: Nimaling – Hankar – Markha 3650m (5-6 Hours)

From here, you begin the descent to the village of Hankar. You begin by walking through lovely green pastures whilst also taking in the Himalayan wildlife such as the Marmot, Mountain Vole and Weasels. You then cross a cool mountain lake. This is the perfect place to take lunch and enjoy the stunning scenery. As you continue down you reach the irrigated farmlands of Thochungtse. At the campsite there is a lovely spring that is well known throughout the region for its medicinal properties!

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Day 7: Markha to Skiu

Today, you head for Skiu via Markha! Along the way you will make several river crossings. Once at Markha you will have time to explore the village before pushing on to Skiu. Once out of Markha you will descend through the small provinces of Nakdi , Sarah and Hamburjah and Pentre. Each province is only inhabited by 2 to 3 families roughly.  After trekking through lush flatlands, you reach your campsite at Skiu where you bed down for the night.

Day 8: Skiu to Shingo 4125m (4-5 hrs)

Today, you follow the Zankar river upstream to the small village of Skiu. Here you will turn away from the main river and follow the stunning gorge up into Shingo. You camp overnight here.

Day 9: Treks to Rumbak 3800m (6-7hrs)

From Shingo, you climb gradually as you ascend over the Ganda La pass at 4850 meters.  From there you pass Yurutse and continue down to your camp near Rumbak.

Day 10: Rumbak to Stok 4200m via Stok la 4900m (5-6 hrs)

Today is a big day. You begin your steady ascent up to the base of Stok la (4900 m). From there your trail becomes steeper as you climb ever higher to cross the pass. However, you’ll be rewarded along the climb with stunning views of the Indus valley and the incredibly colourful rock formations of Stok la. After crossing and taking in the amazing vistas you then begin your decent. You take the trail along the mountainside until you reach the village of Stok. From here you will need to arrange  transport back to Leh .

markha-valley-trekking

Photo by Kevin

Markha Valley Trek FAQ

How much does the markha valley trek cost.

The cost of an Markha Valley Trek varies depending on how you choose to operate your trek. If you decide to the trek the route without a guide, then your costs will be considerably cheaper. Here's a rough estimate:  Tour Agency:  ~$600 – 1,000 for a cheap local agency to ~$1,500 – $2,000 for a Western trekking agency. You could do an independent trek for $25 per day potentially once on the trekking route.

However, hiking independently does pose problems. Firstly, there are a number of routes and finding your way can sometimes be tricky. Your guide will also know the best places to eat, sleep and take rests whilst also introducing you to many local people along the way.

Other costs include:

  • Visa, Vaccinations, Insurance etc: ~$300-$500
  • Equipment (buying and hiring): ~$500-$800
  • Flights to Leh:  ~$1,000
  • Tips:  ~$100-$200
  • Misc (additional food, unplanned travel / hotels ect):  $200

How many miles is the Markha Valley Trek?

The Markha Valley trek takes around 6-7 days to complete, starting in Leh. Depending on the exact start and end point, the Markha Valley hike is approximately 50 miles (80 kilometres) in distance. Total elevation gain / loss is about 2500m / m, with a max elevation of 5260m.

Are permits required for the Markha Valley Trek?

No, permits aren't required for the Markha Valley trek.

markha-valley

When is the best time to complete the Markha Valley Trek?

The best time to hike the Markha Valley trek is from June to October with the high season being in June and July. The monsoon season barely affects the region and you should experience little rain when trekking in this period. That being said, downpours do happen, and you must wear appropriate gear. During winter the trek experiences heavy snowfall and makes the area very isolated.

Is altitude sickness a risk on the Markha Valley hike?

Yes, the Markha Valley Trek is very much a high-altitude trek. At its highest point – Kongmaru La – you’ll be standing at 17,060 ft.

Whilst there are several high passes, the itinerary offered by all operators gives trekkers time to acclimatise to the altitude. Nonetheless, it is important to have a detailed understanding of the risks associated with high altitude trekking and how the body acclimatises.

We recommend you read our detailed article on Altitude Sickness and Acclimatisation .

valley-markha-trek

How difficult is the Markha Valley trail?

The Markha Valley Trek is fairly challenging. You will be trekking for 4-7 hours a day for over a week, so you will need to be in good physical condition. There are several high-altitude passes to cross and several steep climbs with the potential for slippery scree. The best way to prepare for this is to get as many miles under foot on hikes in your home country.

What gear do I need to hike the Markha trek in India?

Trekking in the Ladakh region requires a number of essentials like the following clothing and equipment:

  • base layers
  • hiking pants
  • down jacket
  • rain jacket
  • hiking poles
  • hydration bladder

The Markha Valley trek is both a fun and challenging trek that exposes you to a range of altitudes and fluctuating temperatures, especially between night and day.

Many pieces of equipment can be rented or bought in Leh, but we recommend bringing the most important pieces of gear with you. To help you plan and prepare for your trek, we have written a detailed packing list for multi-day treks .

Are there any recommended guidebooks for the Markha Valley hike?

There are a number of excellent guides we recommend for the Markha Valley Trek:

  • Trekking in Ladakh by Radek Kucharski.
  • Trekking in Indian Himalaya by Lonely Planet
  • Trekking Guide to the Western Himalayas by Depi Chaudhry
  • Ladakh: The Essential Guide by Partha S. Banerjee

singalila-ridge-trek-1

Are there other routes besides the Marhka Valley? 

Absolutely. We also recommend doing the  Chadar Trek ,  Singalila Ridge Trek and Ladakh Treks for unparallelled sightseeing and experiencing Indian culture and history first hand. 

Continue browsing

See more information on  India . Or check out these other Indian Hiking articles:

  • Himachal Pradesh Hikes
  • Uttarakhand Treks
  • Trekking through the Roopkund
  • Hiking the Arunachal Pradesh
  • Best hikes in India

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About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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Hey! Great info! I used your site to prepare the Anapurna trek and now heading to trek the Markha valley. I had som question about it: It seems you did it in reverse compared to other descriptions I have seen, what is the reason? I will do it in June, do you recommend taking a mattress or are the homestays on the way ok? Sleeping bag? Cheers Kevin

Hi Kevin, You can do the route either way, both routes involve going over high passes relatively early in the trek so make sure you are well acclimatised. Homestays have beds with mattresses, but you will want to take a 4-season sleeping bag as well. All the best!

UPDATE JUNE 2023 The small stream in the valley from Nimaling to Chogdo is overflowing with melting water at the moment. As there are 20+ river crossings it is extremely dangerous to descend that way. If you can avoid this part and have time to return the way you came up, do so! After a really nice and easy trek up to Nimaling, we attempted to climb down from Nimaling to Chogdo on the 25th of June via the Konmaru La East Pass. The first bit after the pass, was steep and a little sketchy but well manageable with some experience and sturdy footwear. Unfortunately after that we were facing massive amounts of water flowing down the valley to Chogdo. After crossing the river twice (slipping and falling, almost losing our backpacks and hiking poles) we decided to wait until the next morning as water levels were expected to go down during the night. Which means we got stuck halfway on the mountain at 4500 meters and ended up staying the night emergency bivouacing (sharing 3 sleeping bags and one emergency bivouac bag between the 7 of us). We were lucky to be a group of (semi-)experienced trekkers who could make it down safely the next morning starting at around 4.30 am. Moreover, travel agencies and locals in the camp in Nimaling do not seem to care or do not know any better, so do not expect warning from their side. Also there is no reception on the descend and even satellite phones do not work as they’re blocked in Ladakh. Stay alert and safe!

Thanks for the local insight Anna. Very helpful!

Thanks for the detailed information! I really appreciate it. Can I ask you a question? I'm planning to do this trek in August and am planning to bring my 64-year old mother along. She's very fit and healthier than most 50-year olds, but in combination with the pretty sharp increase in altitude, I'm not sure if the Markha Valley Trek is the best choice. May is ask you about your opinion about this? And if your advise is negative, is there another trek in Ladakh that you'd recommend?

Thanks a lot!

With kind regards,

Hi Merijn, I think you’re mum would be fine on the Markha Valley hike, but if you’re concerned there is an easier route that some operators offer inn te Nubra Valley. Hope that helps!

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33°57'24.6"N 77°17'52.6"E

Markha Valley Trek

markha valley trek in winter

Pickup Point

Leh Airport, India

Minimum Age

  • Markha Valley trek offers a striking contrast of trekking in a dry cold desert valley while providing beautiful views of Ladakh & Zanskar ranges, the 21,000 ft Kang Yissay and the 20,086 ft Stok Kangri peaks.
  • The Markha Valley trek goes inside the beautiful Hemis National Park and involves two pass crossings- Gandala La (15748 ft) and Kongmaru La (17,060 ft).
  • Some exciting waist-deep river crossing sections on Markha River to trails going across interesting Buddhist villages and rocky canyons are some of the features that give this trek a unique fervor.
  • With close proximity to Leh, which is one flight away from most Indian metropolitan cities, Markha Valley Trek can be something any experienced traveler to Leh should definitely consider doing.

The Markha Valley Trek is one of the most astounding and well-known treks in the Ladakh region of India. Located in the northwestern part of India, the Ladakh region is famed for its savagery and uneaten beauty. The trek follows a remarkable high valley with excellent views across the mountain region and is one of the best ways to experience the unique culture of the High Himalaya region. The Markha Valley trek goes long with the Markha River downstream taking in several high passes including Ganda La (15748 ft) and Kongmaru La (17,060 ft). From both passes, you get grand views across the landscape with the tall peaks of Kang Yatse and the Stok Kangri (20,086 ft) coming into sight. Not only is the trek one of mountain beauty, but it also takes trekkers through an outlook of ancient farming with many green irrigated fields and local villages being passed along the way. You'll also encounter several monasteries and meet the shiny dressed monks as they go about their daily lives. You will be open to several waist-deep river crossings, high rocky canyons, and tour many Buddhists villages en-route.

Quite less are aware of the dryer and barren side of this heavenly place. The most desired adventure hub Leh, popular for its raw and arid thrills, is a gateway to the burned-out trails. With Markha Valley trek one gets to redeem the dry region of mighty Kashmir. The mysterious ride of 9 days, exhibiting lush green to yellow barren landscapes, passing alongside Indus river, will stay in mind for your lifetime.

Markha Valley is the largest valley of the Ladakh region. Leh is the starting point of this trek, which is an added advantage to explore the Buddhist monuments in Leh. You will be astonished to traverse through the tiny hamlets as you gain altitude. Surprisingly, these villages host cafes or tea houses serving rejuvenating hot drinks when you are tired from the strenuous hike. One after another, Rumbak, Yurutse, Skiu, Markha, Hankar, Nimaling settlements will revitalize you. Not only that most of the villages have preserved monasteries, ruined forts, and temples. One of them, the Tacha monastery is a beautiful and heart catcher that lies between the mountains.

Though the trek goes through dry regions the Indus, Markha and numerous streams will come your way. Since the trail goes through Hemis National Park, all its treasured fauna, mountain sheep, Argali, rabbits, snow leopards can be spotted at every camping site. Ganda La and Kongmaru La are the two cardinal passes to be crossed en route. These passes are known for the panoramic views of infinite Karakoram and Ladakh ranges. The amazing view of K2 mountain, Stok Kangri and Kang Yatse peaks are fulfilling and the motivation of this trek. On limpid days one can get to see faraway Tibet region. A small trek ahead of Markha Valley and you will get to the base of Kang Yatse peaks. The trail is of easy to moderate grade with 1-2 steep sections, is recommended to all age groups. This is not one of those typical treks that retrace the same path while descending. Therefore, you get a wider and non-repetitive insight into Ladakhi Himalayas. Each day reveals mesmerizing views concealed behind the mountains.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Markha Valley trek is between June and mid-October. During this time, the weather is Ladakh is pleasant and the average temperature ranges between 20 - 30�?�°C in the daytime. July and August are the best months for Markha Valley trek as during these months Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh highways also open for private vehicles.

Brief Itinerary

Detailed itinerary, day 1 : arrive in leh and rest for the day.

Arrive in Leh and rest to acclimatize in the thin air of Leh. Spend your day at Leh. If you like, you can visit ancient monasteries, palaces, and museums that the place is famous for. Drop by Shey, Thiksey Gompa, and Stok Gompa. Being in the same destination will assist in getting acclimatize well for high altitudes. Towards the evening, you can enjoy a hike to Leh palace. The rest of the evening will be spent on relaxation.

Day 2 : Trek from Leh to Zingchen via Spituk

The Markha Valley starts from Spituk. Continue on the dirt road from Spituk, along the Indus River, all the way up to Zingchen. It takes about two hours to reach Zingchen on foot from Spituk. Drive from Leh to Spituk and reach Spituk early in the morning as it gets very hot in the day time en route to Zinchen. Carry extra water as it may take several hours to find a source of drinking water. At Spituk look for the set of the first Gelukpa Gompa in Ladakh. Go past the village and cross the bridge over the Indus River. After crossing the bridge look out for the guards of Hemis National Park. Walk by the trail until you notice a small village on your right. All this while the Indus is on your right.

The green scenery now gives way to dry grounds. There are a series of dry gullies to cross for about 2 km. The trail then splits into two. One is the jeep trail which remains in the lofty grounds while the other is the mule trail which is shorter. After a 4 km Markha Valley on the mule trail you reach a vantage point from where you get an impressive view of the Indus Gorge below. Look out for some prayer flags. Leaving behind the Indus river, walk towards Zinchen gorge ahead which is another 7 km far away from the junction of Indus and Zinchen Rivers. As you cross over, the trail heads towards the south as you cross another road bridge next to a gorge. An additional 3 to 4 km walk and you will reach Zinchen.

Day 3 : Trek from Zinchen to Yurutse

The trail crisscrosses a stream flowing through a gorge. Take the wooden bridge to cover the stream and go to the left of the gorge. Further up move to the right and cross the stream. This trail heads to Rumbak from Zinchen. It takes about 3hrs to reach Rumbak. From there start to your right side to reach Yurutse. Take the small wooden bridge over the stream which takes you to the valley on the right. A 984 ft climb from there, brings you to Yurutse village.

Walk ahead for an hour and cross the bridge past a forest check post of Hemis National Park. The trail is well placed by Forest Officials and proceed till Sumdzom. Register and obtain permits to enter the park. From Sumdzom there is an upstream walk and you come across the wooden bridge two times as you pass through an alluring gorge (Zingchen Nala). The trail enters a valley that narrows down as you move ahead passing via two rocky canyons of sorts. In front of you is Kandala Nallah trail through fields. On the left side, the trail proceeds eastwards up to Rumbak Village. The rocks are rounded so tread carefully. There is an easy stream crossing that will appear to your west after which you get a grand view of the snow-clad peaks of the Stok Mountains as you cross over a fenced plantation area. Rumbak is at a height of 12,470 feet. Notice a route moving further down ahead to Stok La where you can go climbing the Stok Mountains, namely Stok Kangri. Rumak takes the turn towards Yurutse which is a slow climb and can be hard as the effects of high altitude sink in. The landscape is barren and the mountain brightens with a yellow glow and green pastures. Overnight stay in Yurutse.

Day 4 : Trek from Yurutse to Skiu via Ganda La Pass

Start early in the day towards the Base camp of Ganda La which is a steep gradient involving an hour-long hike. As you move up the valley to the base camp, look for the peak of Stok Kangri looming behind you. Look for the usual prayer flags as you reach the lower base camp of Ganda La at an altitude of 14,272 feet. A further 30 minutes or 1 km will bring you to the high base camp of Ganda La. Enroute you may sight Blue Sheep, Marmot, and Argali roaming the land freely. The Ganda La Pass is a further 1 km up in the valley where the elusive Snow Leopard resides, though sighting one will be rare. At the top of Ganda la pass, you get a grand view down to Zinchen Gorge and Stok Mountains and towards the Skiu side of the valley. The contrast in the landscape on both sides is incredible. The trail is well defined, zig-zags all the way up to the pass. Keep your ears well protected as it is extremely windy. As you pitch down to Skiu, observe the terrain intensifies becomes rocky in nature. This pass crossing section can be hard for trekkers as one may experience headaches, nausea, etc. Ensure you do not hike too fast as the variance in height gained and lost is significant for the day. Carry plenty of water as the quality of water is not that good on way till Shingo. A water filter can help you here.

After two hours of difficult descent, you will reach a settlement named Shingo (13,615 feet). The last section of the Markha Valley for the day until Skiu takes around 3 to 4 hours. The dusty trail undergoes a yellow-colored valley. From Shingo lookout for a trail heading south towards the village field from where you take a logical trail moving towards your left. This trail enters into a narrow gorge with an abundance of wild roses that bloom in the months of July-August.

The trail is well established all the way till Skiu. Expect to cross Shingo Nallah three to four times on the way to Skiu. All this while, the trail is descending down crossing the stream on stepping stones. The bottom of the gorge is full of willow and Sea buckthorn providing much-needed shade from the sun. 1.5 km before the end of the gorge, the stream disappears and you reach Skiu. You have just entered Markha Valley. Observe Markha River coming down from Chilling. This is the point from where Stok Valley blends with Markha Valley. We camp overnight at Skiu.

Day 5 : Trek from Skiu to Markha

Today is a moderate day for trekking with very little altitude gain/loss though there is a lot of distance to cover. From Skiu, start eastwards towards the Markha Valley. Walk along with the Markha River with mountains on both sides. The trail for the day is a comparatively level walk over the river bed, side trails along the river with few parts where you have to climb up and down due to broken down trails in few sections. Walk beside the river for 2 km till you reach a bridge section. Do not cross over but stay on the route along the river. The trail from here has few washout sections requiring you to climb, few meters up and down to pass the broken section of the trail. The trail to Chalak village from here goes through a bridge crossing towards your left and a further 2 km Markha Valley to reach a clearing known as Narding go around with a 3km walk up the valley to a spot called Sara.

Another one km and you reach a bridge crossing section. Cross the bridge and return back to the right side of the river. Observe cultivated Barley fields ahead. You have reached Chalak. We rest at Chalak village and have lunch. It takes around 4 hours to reach Chalak from Skiu. From Chalak the trail ascends slowly as you pass by a trail marked with Bharal horn for directions. Observe chortens and mani walls set high above the river throughout the way. After 2 to 3 km the valley comes up and a river junction takes you to Markha Village. Let the guide decide the best spot for the river crossing. You may find the height of water to be femur high. The water is icy cold so better to take off your shoes and socks and pull up your pants. Once you cross over, Markha Valley for a couple of kilometers till you see a final bridge crossing. As you cross over the bridge you approach Markha -the biggest village in the area, where we camp for the night.

Day 6 : Trek from Markha to Thochuntse

Today is another moderate day for trekking. Follow the trail from Markha village alongside Markha River, remaining at the right side. Ignore a wooden plank bridge. After 2 km you reach the intersection where a path from Zanskar meets up. Look for suitable spots to cross over Markha River. You will be required to cross over at least twice. Consult a local in Markha or leave it to the experience of your guide to making this decision. After the second river crossing, it is a 2-hour hike up to Umlung. Look out for the Umlung Gompa and cross over from its base to reach Umlung. You can get a breathtaking view of Mt. Kang Yissay as you climb up from Umlung towards Tacha and Hankar. After 2 hours, skirting up a gorge, you reach an old village named Hankar. A km past Hankar the trail breaks into two. One going to Thochuntse and the other to Zalung karpo La. Continue on the trail going along the branch takes you to Thochuntse which is another 1 km ahead. Proceed to a bridge made of stones and you enter a field area which is Thochuntse. Camp overnight at Thochuntse.

Day 7 : Trek from Thochuntse to Nimaling

It’s a shorter 6 km trek to Nimaling. 15 minutes from the Thotchuntse campsite, the trail forks. Take the trail to the left. After 1 hour climb, the landscape is smoother, curvier. The climb becomes gradual. After one hour into the climb, leads you to a pond where you can fill water. A distant walk on a grassy meadow leads you to Nimaling. You see effusive streams on your left with a glacier backing the Kang Yatse and to the right is the Kang Yatse peak. The campsite of Nimaling is in a broad valley and is completely exposed to strong winds. When it snows, the green of the valley turns to an absolute white carpet glittering with snow. Camp overnight at Nimaling.

Day 8 : Trek from Nimaling to Shang Sumdo via Kongmaru La Pass and Drive to Leh

Today is a difficult day due to the highest altitude pass crossing of the Markha Valley. From Nimaling look ahead towards Kongmaru la Pass. Cross a stream part and continue towards the north climbing a long face of a ridge leading to Kongmaru la Pass. The hike from Nimaling to Kongmaru la pass takes around 2 hours and is a steep incline hike. At the top of the pass, you will get a great view of Indus valley and Ladakh ranges. You can also see a wide array of wildflowers on the slope leading to the pass. You also get a mobile signal of the BSNL network here. The downhill descent from the pass to Sumdo is brutal. The terrain is rocky and drops down steeply as you enter into a narrow canyon after trekking down 2 to 3 km.

The canyon has a typical landscape one is accustomed to seeing in Ladakh. The brown and reddish rocks on both sides allow not more than 2 to 3 people to pass at a time. After 2 hours of hiking the canyon widens up till you reach Sukarno. The hike from Sukarmo to Shang Sumdo is a long one with a major part on a dry river bed. After an hour of walking on the river bed, you come to a section running along a small hill. The trail here is descending consistently. The last section involves an hour of level walks to reach Sumdo along the same river. Sumdo is a small village with tea shops and parachute tents. Take a cab from Sumdo to Leh which is 8 km on the highway road. You can also Markha Valley to Hemis to visit the Hemis Monasteries. This is a 2 hour Markha Valley from Sumdo. From Sumdo, it takes about 2-3 hours to reach Leh.

Day 9 : Depart from Leh

We will arrange a cab for you from the pickup point in Leh which will be the Airport, the charges for the same are not included in the package. For communications purposes, we will create a Whatsapp Group before the departure date of the trek and will share the details regarding the transportation. The drop at Leh Airport after the trek will be arranged in a similar way.

How to reach Markha Valley Trek Starting Point ( Leh ) :

By  Air

The Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh is the highest airport in India. You can get daily flights to Leh from most of the cities in India. Frequent flights ply from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, and Kolkata. Standing at an elevation of 11,150 feet, Leh is one of the highest cities in India. 

The nearest major railway station is the Jammu Tawi railway station which directly connects major cities of India like New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and many more. It is the most convenient stop, from where frequent buses and cabs are available.

You can use either the Manali-Leh highway or Srinagar-Leh highway if you wish to travel by road. The Srinagar-Leh highway is more preferable than the Manali-Leh highway.

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Why trek with us .

markha valley trek in winter

Fixed Departures All

Get yourself fit, nutrition tips, things to take, health & safety.

  • Accommodations at Trek:  All accommodations on the trek will be on twin sharing basis in Tents or Homestays. Any accommodation in a hotel/guest house/hostel will be in a budget hotel.
  • Trek Leader and Guides:  An experienced and certified Trek Leader , as well as a professional guide, will accompany you for the trek. The team will have years of experience and well equipped for any emergency situation.
  • Services of a Professional Trekking Team:  A team of an experienced Cook, Camp Staff, Porters/Mules will accompany you for all the arrangements on the trek .
  • Meals:  All Meals on the Trek are included. We will serve Vegetarian Indian food on the trek which will be cooked by our high altitude chefs. It will be a five-course meal plan.
  • Camping and Safety Equipment:  All the camping equipment such as Tents, Sleeping bags, Toilet Tents, Dining Tent, Mattresses, and other things will be provided by us and we guarantee the quality. Safety Equipment including Medical kit, Oxygen Cylinder, Oximeter, Crampons & Gaiters(if required) will be provided by us. We recommend you to bring your own sleeping bags if possible.
  • Trek Permits and Forest Camping Charges:  Only for Indian Clients, All the applicable trekking permits, Camping Charges, Forest Entry Fee, etc will be paid by us. Foreigners have to pay these charges if not mentioned.
  • A Life-Changing Experience:  We assure you that by trekking in the Himalayas you will have a life-changing experience and we will do everything we can to provide you with the best services and make your venture in the wild an unforgettable one. 

Note: Prior to booking any adventure with Trekmunk, it will be mandatory to sign the waiver form and get a medical certificate from a doctor in due time, without these, you will not be allowed to start the trek. All this will be done online without using any paper.

  • GST and Other Taxes:  The goods and services tax is not included in the price mentioned with the trek. They are subjected to change according to the government rules of India.
  • Food in Leh:  Food in Leh is not included in the package. You can dine anywhere in Leh city,  we can recommend a few good options.
  • Flights and Transportation:  Flights or other means of transport are not included in the package. Transportation from Home city to Leh and Leh to Home city is not included in the package. Any expenses occurred during the journey are not included in the package cost.
  • Personal Equipment:  Your Rucksack, personal clothing, shoes, trek poles, and other personal trekking gear is not included in this package. You have to bring your own gear according to the weather and difficulty of the trek.
  • Portage of Personal Bags(Offloading):  We highly advise you to carry your own burden (your rucksack) but due to any reason, if you wish to not carry your rucksack, we can arrange for a porter/mule to carry it. For this service, you will be charged over and above the trek cost. The charges for offloading vary with every trek.
  • Travel Insurance:  Travel Insurance is not included in this package. We recommend you to have travel insurance before opting for such adventures. You can buy insurance from us while booking the trek, it is optional.
  • Personal Expenses:  Any personal expenses incurred (Laundry, Bottled Water, Beverages, Snacks, Orders at tea houses or dhabas, Tips for guides, Camera fees, etc) are not included in the package.
  • Emergency Expenses:  Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as accidents, bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control are not included in the package.
  • Anything not mentioned in Inclusions of the package.

Cancellation Policy And More Information

Booking Terms:

1. Confirmation Policy :

Upon Booking, An invoice will be sent to your mail & within 12 to 24 hours the booking confirmation with additional details will be sent to your mail.

2.  Cancellation Policy:

Note: Following Cancellation policy will be followed for departures booked on or before 31st May 2021-

1)  Cancellation up to 7 days before the start date of the trek:   Get a complete cash refund (minus 5% transaction fee). The money is refunded to the same bank account, credit, or debit card from where the payment was made. 

2)  Cancellation during the last 6 days before the start date of the trek, and not counting the day of the trek:  Full refund with 100% of the trek fee in the form of a Trekmunk Trek Voucher. Valid for 1 year from the date of issue. Can be used on any Trekmunk trek. 

3)  Cancellation on the start day of the trek, or no show on the start day of the trek : Unfortunately, no refund. 

For more details, go to https://www.trekmunk.com/cancellation-policy

3. Refund Policy:

Any refund applicable will be processed within 10 to 15 business days as per the company policy.

4. Postpone/Transfer of a booked trek:

1. You can postpone your booked trek for a period of two months (61 days) but we will charge a 20% processing fee. The last date for the postponement will be 15 days before the start of the trek. Failing to book the slot in 2 months (61 days) time, would be considered a cancellation with no refund of any kind. Postpone of a booked trek can only be done once. 

2. You can transfer your booked slot for the trek to any fit person till 15 days before the trek. You just have to mail us the request and rest we will handle. The new person has to get all the mandatory documents duly signed for the trek.

More Information: 

1. We Trek for a Cause : For overall development of the areas we run our operations in, we donate Rs 100/- per booking from our profits which are used for the upliftment of the local people and conserving nature. We have named this initiative as - Trek for a Cause. For more details, follow: https://www.trekmunk.com/trek-for-a-cause

2. We are paperless : We are focusing on Sustainable Tourism and to do that we are trying all measures to convert our trek operations to be Eco-Friendly. Going Paperless is one step closer to our aim. 

3. Single-Use Plastic : Trekmunk does not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We are ensuring that our team is working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We will send you instructions on how to go plastic-free on your adventures.

4. Preparing for your Holiday : Getting some additional exercise makes a lot of sense to spend time before coming on a trekking adventure. The fitter you are, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. Hiking in the hill country is the best training but jogging, squash and swimming are also good for developing cardiovascular fitness and stamina. To read more on how to get fit, follow: https://www.trekmunk.com/get-fit-for-trek  

5. Electricity Supply & Plug : You will get electricity supply till the starting point of the trek. If not Indian, We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at: http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

6. Currency: The unit of currency in India is the Indian Rupees.

7. Health & Vaccinations: 

Severe Allergies : If you have a severe allergy please inform the Trekmunk office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy-free environment on trekmunk trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by our leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on the arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Vaccinations : You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however, if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. 

8. Passport & Visas/Identity Proofs : If foreigner, Validity for 6 months, should have blank pages, and should be kept with yourself all the time.

9. Water : If you are on a trekking or cycling holiday, water is supplied to fill up your individual bottles. This will be boiled or filtered. Additionally, you should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a LifeStraw, Sawyer Filter) to treat your water when in towns or where water is not supplied. We do not encourage the purchasing of single-use plastic bottles.

10. Altitude : This adventure involves going to a very high altitude. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatize successfully. We will send you the information in your mailbox about Acute Mountain Sickness and trekking in high altitudes. On this trip, we carry bottled oxygen for use in emergencies.

11. Guidance on Tipping : Tipping is the accepted way of saying thank you for good service. Normally the guide and any other trek staff are given their tips at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. The main guide will make sure that the tip is appropriately distributed among all the staff members on the trek.

12. Spending/Emergency Money : Approximately Rs. 8000-10000/- (in Indian Currency)should be carried for miscellaneous expenses including porter and trek crew tips, drinks, soft drinks, etc. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash as the availability of ATM is less in these remote areas. This can also serve as your emergency spending money.

13. Travel Insurance : It is recommended to have travel insurance for these kinds of adventures. When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary. We will ask for the Travel Insurance Details over a mail. Indians can buy insurance from us while booking the trek.

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Chadar trek is considered to be one of the most difficult and dangerous treks, which requires a lot of skilled trek leaders, a perfect guide and a strong team of porters. I choose Trekmunk for Chadar and they proved they are a perfect team. Highly skilled trek leaders, professional skiers, gave us details on how to walk on slippery ice. Professionally trained and certified with wilderness medication programs always ready to take your care in any condition and travelers themselves. One will enjoy their company, their travel stories and their way of leading a trek. Cheers to team Trekmunk.

I and my friends went to Markha Valley trek with Trekmunk and we all had a great time. Walking up and down the hill, coming across some beautiful sites was mesmerizing. Staying in tents was so much fun. And our guide had all the knowledge about the trek. Trekmunk is really good with its food and accommodation facilities. I highly recommend Trekmunk. Kudos to their Team.

No words for the bike trip from Srinagar to Leh. One should experience it to feel it and all this because of the management of Trekmunk especially Mohit and Harshit whose efforts even made the hardest of the ride exciting adventurous and above all safe. Although some hindrances which are quite common like bike issues and medical problems arose with our co-riders, I liked the way these two guys handled it dexterously. I went with one of my best friends and came with a lot more and the trip turned out to be memories that can be cherished for a lifetime. Thanks, Team Trekmunk for giving me a wonderful experience. I can't wait to go on my next adventure with them.

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TREKKING IN LADAKH

Winter treks, mountaineering in ladakh, cultural tours in ladakh, adventures in ladakh, fixed departure treks - join a group, ladakh information, mountaineering, cultural tours, join a group, markha valley trek from chilling, day 1: chilling - skiu, day 2: skiu - markha, day 3: markha - hankar, day 4: hankar - nimaling, day 5: nimaling - kongmaru la - shang sumdo, day 6: shang sumdo - hemis, getting to / from the trek, markha valley trek - faq, how long is the markha valley trek, how high will i go on the markha valley trek, how difficult is the markha valley trek, is the markha valley trek crowded, how many days of acclimatization are needed before starting the markha valley trek, what will the weather be like during the markha valley trek, how are the homestays during the markha valley trek, what will i eat during the markha valley trek, where will i get drinking water during the markha valley trek, will i be able to charge my camera/phone batteries during the markha valley trek, will my mobile phone work during the markha valley trek, what do i need to carry for the markha valley trek, will i have a porter during the markha valley trek, how to extend the markha valley trek, what is the group size for the markha valley trek, how do i get from leh to the markha valley trek.

markha valley trek in winter

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Markha Valley Trek - Winter

Markha Valley Winter Trek

Description

Markha valley trek is one of most attempted treks in Ladakh region. Ladakh offers a rare mix of barren landscape and beautiful as well as unique Buddhist culture. Markha valley in summers is quite a busy trek and invites a lot of foreigners as well. Markha valley trek covers high mountain passes (15000ft+) and trails. The multicolored prayer flags welcome you as you enter the small villages of Markha valley and it is about these memories that will remain with you for life. At Wanderers we believe, there is no place as beautiful and welcoming as the beautiful Markha valley winter trek . Markha Valley can practically be done throughout the year. Wanderers offers this trek in summers as well as in winters.

Markha Valley Winter Trek

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Cliffhangers India

Markha Valley Trek

  • Book the tour
  • Trekking in Ladakh

Duration: 6 Days/ 5Nights

Max Altitude: 17,060ft

Pickup: Leh

Difficulty: Moderate

Placed in the magnificent landscape, Markha Valley Trek is the finest ever trek of Ladakh. Set in the picturesque river valley called Markha, this trek gives you the best feel of the mighty Himalayas in its 7-day duration. The trek goes over the majestic cold, arid deserts of Markha which is part of the famous Hemis National Prak. 

The trek is a bundle of high-altitude passes, river crossings, rocky canyons, and vast wildlife. While on this trek you get a magnificent view of Mt Kang Yatse on the third day of the trek. This near pyramid peak has an altitude of 21300 ft. It also goes to the high mountain pass of Kongmaru La which has an altitude of 17060ft. 

You will get a lifetime view from this pass of the wide range of the Indus Valley and Ladakh mountain ranges. 

Markha Valley Trek India is a grand trek of Ladakh and Kashmir region. You get an amazing view on the trail amid barren mountains for which Ladakh is famous. The trek exposes you to the villages of Markha Valley. 

  • Book: Leh Ladakh Tour Packages
  • Check: Treks in Ladakh

The modest mud houses are set on the beautiful trail of this trek. There are local houses and traditional Buddhist religious motifs that you will see on and off during this trek. The culture and architecture of the valley will mesmerize you. 

The best part of this trek which is quite different from other treks is the stay in homes. On this trek, you can lodge in one of the local houses. This makes the Markha valley one of the rare tea-house treks in the Indian Himalayas. 

Highlights of Markha Valley Trek

  • Markha Valley:  Markha Valley is the biggest attraction of this trek. It is the otherworldly location with the remotest of villages. It has scenic panoramas and gives a wide view and an exciting look at the Himalayas. This valley is also famous for its Buddhist monasteries. The valley holds villages that have mud houses and the ancient tribes of Ladakh. 
  • Mountain Views:  This trek has the contrasting landscape of Ladakh and Zanskar Valley. It gives the best view of Kang Yatse Mountain and Stok Kangri peaks. 
  • Hemis National Park:  The trek goes way deep into the Hemis National Park . This national park is quite huge. It holds varied Himalayan wildlife and you get mesmerized by the flora in fauna. 
  • River Crossings: Markha Valley has exciting and soothing river crossings. The waist-deep river crossings are a thrill in themselves. You will have to ford many river streams. Another fantastic feature of this trek is the trail that goes via rocky canyons. This makes the trek quite experiential. 

Itinerary of Markha Valley Trek

Day 1: Leh to Chilling to Skiu

  • Altitude: 11,560 ft – 10,490 ft – 11,160 ft
  • Distance: 60 km drive, 7 km trek
  • Duration: 2 hours drive, 2-3 hours trek

This is the first day of the trek. The day starts with a drive from Leh for about 2 hours until you reach Chilling. Chilling is the base of the trek. Gear yourself in the trekking wear and start your trek. The Cliffhangers trek leader will brief you for the day and give you the overall trek details. The Trek leader will give you dos and don’ts of the trek and will explain in detail about the trail. 

You will have a short walk over the road and a trolley bridge. The trail takes a right turn and you will have the proper trail. It is a steep ascent. However, the steepness is for a short distance and then the trail opens out and flattens. This day is a flat walk above the Markha River until you reach Skiu. 

The gradient of the day is easy. The distance of the 7km trek is a flat and easy one. You will be passing the beautiful village of Kaya where you can stop for a break and refreshments. From Kaya, 3km ahead is your night stay in Skiu. The homestays in this village are decent and quite a relief in the middle of the rocky landscape. 

Day 2: Skiu to Markha 

  • Altitude: 11,150 ft – 12,370 ft
  • Distance: 20 km 
  • Duration: 7 hours 

Today the trek starts along the river. This is a beautiful walk along the gushing stream. The trail as it diverges from the river exposes you to the rough and non-definite trail. You will have to maneuver the trail quite carefully as some portion of the trail is washed away. You will reach after this portion a valley called Sara. It is also a beautiful camping location. However, this is not our campsite. 

We will have to walk further until we reach Chalak. It takes around 6 hours to reach Chalak from Skiu. The trail gets a bit challenging as it gradually takes an ascent. Just a few kilometers ahead you will enter Markha Valley. The Markha Valley has deep river crossings. You will have to take off your shoes or be in shorts to ford the stream. Shortly after this fording, you will reach the Markha village which is our night stay. 

Day 3: Markha to Hankar

  • Altitude: 12,370 ft – 13,000 ft
  • Distance: 11 km 
  • Duration: 5 hours 

The gradient of the day is easy.  This day is very rewarding as you go to the upper reaches of Markha Valley. The valley starts to open up as you trek for some time. You get to see the magnificent view of Kang Yatse today. This peak is the major attraction of the day. 

The trail runs parallel today to the river stream. You will be crossing the Markha River twice on your trail. Shortly you will reach Umlung. It’s a bit away from Umlung when you behold the eternal Mt. Kang Yatse. Once you have crossed Umlung and got the view of the peak, a trek of around an hour will take you to the village of Hankar. This is a gorgeous village with mud houses and homestays to spend the night at. 

Day 4: Hankar to Nimaling

  • Altitude: 13,100 ft – 15,400 ft
  • Distance: 10 km 
  • Duration: 6 hours 

The gradient of the day is moderate. You will be trekking mostly on the flat trail with a beautiful landscape surrounding you. 

From Hankar, start trekking after your breakfast. The trail starts with a steep ascent and then reaches the Thochuntse campsite. Here you will find beautiful treehouse tents. A short-distance trek will take you to the base camp of Kang Yatse. The trail gains steepness and you will have to trek in steep ascent for around 70 minutes and then the ascent turns gradual. 

The gradual ascent gives a perfect stop for rest as you will reach a river pond that has Kang Yatse in its background. From here you will have to gradually descend to reach Nimaling. Nimaling has a contrasting landscape to what you have seen so far. There is greenery and it is a grazing area of Ladakh. This is the campsite for the night. 

Day 5: Nimaling – Kongmaru La – Chokdo

  • Altitude: 15,400 ft – 17,060 ft – 12,810 ft
  • Distance: 12 km 

The gradient of the day is difficult. This is the day you will be ascending the steep Kongmaru La and then have a long descent down to Chokdo. Brace yourself in the morning and be prepared for the tough trek day. 

The day starts with a river crossing and trekking towards Kongmaru La pass. The trail of the day is definite and it takes around 2.5 hours of moderate-paced walking to reach the top of the pass. But reaching the pass is rewarding. Once you are at the pass, you will get a fantastic panoramic view of the Indus and Ladakh ranges.

It is essential to take some rest here at the top. From the top will start a long tiring descent. The descent is very sharp and steep with the trail going over rocky terrain which is quite heavy on your legs, particularly on your knees and ankles. It is suggested to carry your kneecaps with you. The trail is over canyons. This long descent will end in Chokdo where you will take a sigh of relief. 

Chokdo is a small village for your night’s stay. The best thing is you will have your phone network here. 

Day 6: Chokdo – Shang Sumdo – Leh

  • Altitude: 12,810 ft – 12,140 ft – 11,560 ft
  • Distance: 5 km trek, 50 km drive
  • Duration: 2 hours trek, 2 hours drive

This is the last day of the trek and the gradient of the day is easy. The day has a short trek day of around 5km only. The walk is along the river and is a flat walk. You will reach Shang Sundo in about 1.5 hours. From Sumdo take a cab to Leh. This finishes your eternally beautiful Markha Trek. 

  • All veg meals during the trek. Breakfast, lunch, evening snacks, dinner.
  • Camp accommodation on all nights in high-quality tents on a twin-sharing basis. Sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses, dining tents, and cutlery are included. 
  • Helpers to pitch the tents, wash the dishes, serve the food, and assist while on the camp.
  • Mountaineering qualified and experienced trek leaders, guides, and experienced cooks. 
  • All the necessary mountain medicine includes first aid, oxygen cylinder, etc. 
  • Passes and Permits.

Meal plan : In every meal plan, we try to provide different varieties, trying not to repeat the dishes, particularly at dinner and lunch. Here is the list of dishes and items from which we serve the clients.

  • Breakfast: eggs, paratha, chana, poha, dalia, upma, cornflakes, bread toast, butter, jam, roti, coffee, tea, kehwa, etc.
  • Lunch and dinner: we make a variety of dishes and try to serve the varied dishes. On all trek days, there will be different dishes served. We try not to repeat our dishes unless the clients say otherwise.
  • We serve veg dishes like veg biryani, veg pulaw, muttar paneer, palak paneer, aloo gobi, rajma chawal, rajma kadhai, mix veg, chana masala, kadhi chawal, dal makhni, bhindi masala, dal fry, veg korma, Kashmiri nadru, Kashmiri haakh, aloo matar, bhaingan ka bharta, dam aloo, andaburji, etc. We have both roti and rice available for dinner and lunch. We serve them with different pickles and salad. 
  • For evening snacks we have tea, pakoda, soup, noodles, maggie, veg rolls, biscuits, etc. 
  • For dessert we serve gulab jamun, phirni, halwa, custard, sewaya, fruit chaat, fruit cake, almond cake, etc. 

Exclusions:

  • Lunch on the first day. 
  • Personal expenses.
  • Anything not specifically mentioned in the inclusion list.
  • Offloading 
  • Transportation

Extra Services:

If you wish to avail of our transportation service, then the extra cost will be  4500 per person . The transportation cost is to and fro. The pickup and drop place will be Leh. 

Offloading charges: Markha Valley Trek has mandatory offloading. The cost per bag is Rs 4000/ per bag.  The maximum weight allowed is 10kg. Please note that only a proper trekking backpack will be allowed to offload. No trolly or suitcase will be allowed to offload. We strictly follow the rule of adequately placing the load on our ponies. 

Markha Valley Trek Packages and Cost 

Markha Valley Trek’s cost is 19000/ which includes the basic trekking essentials. You will have a combination of homestays and camping on this trek. However, the complete Markha Valley Trek Package includes your transportation, offloading/porter service, and insurance as well. Cliffhangers has the complete package for this trek. From the airport to the airport, you will get the entire services along with eh sightseeing options of Ladakh.

You can get in touch with our trek experts to give the best of the packages for this trek. We also have private customized packages for Markha Valley. From budget to premium, we have all the required services. 

  • Book: Kashmir Holiday Packages.  
  • Book: Leh Heritage Walk . 

Best Time for Markha Valley Trek

Ladakh is a cold desert. In winter the region is extremely cold, which makes the summers the best time for trekking here. Hence, the best time for Markha Valley Trek is from July to September. This is the time when the sun is out, temperatures are ideal for trekking in the high altitude. 

Markha Valley in Winter

Markha Valley trek in winter is not doable. This trek is purely a summer trek and is done from July to September end. Owing to the cold temperature and snow, this trek gets closed during the winter and is not accessible and recommended to undertake. 

October: Often frequently asked, it must be noted that Markha Valley in October is not the ideal time. This time the trek closes and as the autumn sets in Ladakh, the higher passes have a high chance of snowfall. 

December: In December Markha Valley receives plenty of snowfall. Hence Markha Valley trek is not done in December.

Markha Valley Trek in Summer

Markha Valley Trek in summer is the most beautiful and recommended one. Summer is the only season in which the trek can be done. You will get the accessibility and the best services and landscape of this region in summer only. 

Why should you do Markha Valley Trek? 

There are plenty of reasons to do Markha Valley Trek. It has the best delightful landscape along with other attractions that lure trekkers from across the world. Here are some of the reasons to do this trek.

  • Ladakh:  Since this trek is in Ladakh, what better attraction than Ladakh itself? On this trek, you get to see the real authentic Ladakh. Not only the trek trail, but the sightseeing of Ladakh is part of this trek. You will be driven through a breathtakingly beautiful road to reach the base camp of this trek. You will have to arrive at Leh for this trek, so Leh sightseeing will be part of it.
  • The Pristine Village : You will get to see the stunning villages of Markha and Hankar. These villages are right from the old times, spending their lifestyle in the most simple ways with the real cultural ethos of the people still intact. These two villages have a green landscape in the middle of the typical barren landscape of Ladakh. 
  • Behold Kang Yatse:  On your third day, you will behold the amazing peak of Kang Yatse. The pyramid shape of Kang Yatse from the Umlung pass is a fantastic feature of this trek. 

How Difficult is Markha Valley Trek 

You must be aware of the gradient of any trek before you book it. It must be clearly understood that Markha Valley is a moderate to difficult trek. It is doable by all. It is recommended for fit beginners and experienced trekkers. The trek goes over the high altitude passes above 15000 ft. Hence it must be borne in mind that you will have the sharp ascends while going over to the passes.  

Further, there are days when the trek is quite mild and gives you enough time to enjoy the walk in the middle of the stunning landscape of Ladakh. The longest distance is on the second day which is around 20km. However, the altitude gain is fairly low which makes the walk not that strenuous on your legs. 

How to Reach Markha Valley  

Markha Valley Trek is located in the Markha Valley of the Ladakh region. This is most easily accessible from Leh. The base of the trek is just 60km from main Leh. The entire trail is in Markha Valley and the vicinity of Markha River.   

By Air:  Leh airport is the nearest airport to the Chilling where the trek starts. Once you reach Leh, Cliffhangers has a shared cab facility that you can avail of to reach the base camp. 

By Train:  There are no railways in Ladakh. The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi. From there take a shared cab or bus to Ladakh. It is a long drive. 

By Road:  Ladakh is connected to all the places across India by road. You either can enter Ladakh via Kashmir or Himachal. The roads are in good condition. However, the distances are long.  

Things to Carry for the Markha Valley Trek 

Markha Valley is an offbeat trek that is situated in a far-off region. You must have to carry the essentials before you join for this trek. You won’t find much of the trekking stuff in the base camp of this trek. You either have to get these things from your place or from Leh itself. 

 Backpack: Y ou must carry at least one backpack of  60 liters.

Shoes:  You need to have trekking shoes necessarily. The shoes must be sturdy and high-ankle. 

Three T-shirts:  Carry one full sleeve dry-fit T-shirt, and at least two other T-shirts. 

Three insulation layers : Carry at least 3 insulation layers – 2 light fleece and one full-sleeve sweater.

One Outer layer : You need at least one padded jacket/down jacket

Two trek pants:   You need to carry two pairs of pants and that will be sufficient for your entire trek. 

 Trekking poles . Two trekking poles are always better than a single trekking pole.

Raingear:  A poncho is a good choice over jacket-type raingear, as the poncho covers your entire body till the knees down and you can keep your daypack bag inside it too.

Rain cover for your backpack:  Buy a good rain cover for your backpack to keep it dry and safe. It also helps to keep your backpack from wear and tear.

Daypack: A  small bag of around 20 to 30 ltrs to carry your essentials like water bottle, rainwear, headlamp, snacks, etc 

Sunglasses:  Carry one to protect your eyes from glare and UV radiation. 

Suncap:  You can either get the normal suncap or a suncap with flaps which is preferred by most trekkers and is advisable by the experts.

Synthetic hand gloves:  You can wear them during the evenings and mornings.

Woolen cap or Balaclava:  The cap covers your ears, neck, and some parts of your face.

Three pairs of Socks:  Take two pairs of sports socks and one pair of woolen socks. 

Headlamp:  You might want to go to the loo during the night, or just sit and relax outside the camps, you need the headlamp

A toilet kit:  It should include things like a toothbrush, toothpaste, small soap, toilet tissue roll, a small moisturizer, lip balm, deodorant, etc. Women should carry their sanitary pads.

Water bottle:  carrying a water bottle is a must.

Plastic covers:  Carry a plastic bag to keep the wet or used clothes in it.

Personal medical kit:  If you are on any medicine, don’t skip that during the trek unless your doctor advises. Always consult your doctor if you have any diseases that can worsen in the mountains or by altitude gain.

Mandatory Documents:  Carry your original Aadhar card Passport or Driver’s license. 

Lunch Box:  Every day you will reach the campsite only in the afternoon, so there will be no hot lunch but a packed lunch. You must buy and carry one small lunch box. 

How long is  Markha Valley Trek? 

The Markha Trek is 65km long. This is the trekking distance apart from the distance you will be converting to reach to Chilling base camp from where the trek starts. You will have to reach to leh first and then from there, the cab will ferry you to the base camp.  

What is the altitude of the Markha Valley Trek?

The highest altitude of the Markha Valley is 17060ft which is the altitude of Kongmaru La Pass. This is the toughest day of the trek and takes you to the highest altitude of the trek. The lowest altitude of the trek is 11560ft which is from where you start and end the trek.

Where is Markha Valley Trek located?

Markha Valley Trek is located in Ladakh. It falls 60km away from Leh. This is an offbeat and far-off place, so make sure you are well-prepared for this trek. We recommend not to do this trek solo, as it involves some risks of straying in the barren mountains of Ladakh.  

What is the distance of the Markha Valley?

The distance of the Markha Valley trek is around 65km. The distance of each day is different with some days short and some days long. The longest day of the Markha Valley trek is from Skiu to Markha. This is a long tiring day. The shortest duration day is the last day which is about 5kms of the trek.  

What is the best time to do the Markha Valley trek?

Markha Trek is best done from July to September. These are the summer months which are the only months in which this trek is recommended. On rest month the accumulation of snow and the rough weather makes this trek quite impassable. As this trek is a high-altitude trek, one must not do it in other months of the year for safety concerns. 

What is the difficulty level of the Markha Valley trek?  

The difficulty of Markha Valley Trek is moderate. It is quite doable for both fit beginners and experienced trekkers. There are some high-altitude ascents that you will have to cross while on this trek. Most days you will be walking short distances, however on days like the second day, you will be walking the long distance of 20 km.  

Is Markha Trek safe? 

The Markha Valley Trek is completely safe. It has the best of the trails which are definite and well-marked. However one has to finish this trek with some care. Cliffhanger guides will ensure your safety by guiding you about the trail and accompanying you on every step of this trek.  

Can a beginner do the Markha Valley Trek? 

Yes, a beginner can do Markha Valley Trek. The only condition is you will have to prepare for this trek. You will have to build the stamina and endurance to make this trek quite easier on you. The trek puts some challenges for a beginner if he/she is not fit enough.  

What is the starting point of the Markha Valley Trek?

The Markha Valley trek starts from Chilling. This is the base camp of the trek – a village situated in the far-off region of Ladakh. There is a drive of 2 hours covering a 60km distance from Leh to reach the starting point of Markha Trek.  

How many days is the Markha Valley Trek? 

The total days for Markha Valley trek is 6 days. This includes the time driving from Leh and going to Leh. The 6 days are leh to leh. One can increase the days depending on your preference, you can add one rest day in between the trekking days, to make this trek more relaxing. However, a 6-day duration is ideal for Markha Valley.  

Do you need a permit for Markha Valley?

Yes, you will have to get permission for Markha Valley Trek. Cliffhangers will arrange all the permissions required for this trek. This is included in the basic package of this trek.  

Markha Valley from Leh? 

 The total distance from Leh to Markha Valley is 60km. This makes you reach the base of this trek. From there, no transports go ahead, you will have to trek to reach Markha Valley. 

markha valley trek ladakh

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  • Markha Valley Trek: A Gateway To Ladakh’s Hidden Villages And Valleys

Markha Valley is bestowed with the diverse beauty of rocky mountains, snowcapped peaks, and serene hamlets. Thus, making Markha Valley Trek a rollercoaster ride in different terrains. Circling some parts of Hemis National Park, this trek has a difficulty level of moderate to difficult depending on your fitness level. Also known as the tea house trek, this trek offers varied levels of adrenaline rush. Some of which include steep ascends, river crossing, bridge crossing, etc. What by day paints a picture of a picturesque landscape, by night covers you with a blanket of numerous stars. Starting off Chilling village, this trek sure makes for one hell of an experience.

Best Time To Go For Markha Valley Trek

Best Time To Go For Markha Valley Trek

The best time to visit Markha Valley Trek is during the months of June and September. These months comprise the summer season in Ladakh. During these months the temperature is moderate and the terrain is mostly clear. Moreover, it is the best time to visit both the Srinagar-Leh route and the Manali-Leh route. Post-September, the roads get blocked due to frequent snowfall and most passes get closed. Traveling during the months of June and September, you can also save yourself from the blows of harsh winter winds.

The ideal duration of this trek comprises a total of 6 days. A duration of 6 days takes you through various scenic check-points such as Chilling, Skiu, Markha, Hankar, Nimaling, Kongmaru La, Shang Sumdo, etc. Moreover, it lets you take sufficient halts in-between the trekking trail. Even though Markha Valley is considerably warmer during June, August, and September, it is nowhere as warm as the planes. Therefore, make sure to always carry woolen clothing and an extra pair of socks.

Must Read: 12 Astounding Spots For Trekking In Ladakh That Need To Be On Every Hiker’s Bucket List!

How To Reach The Base Camp

markha valley trek in winter

Image Credits: Pixabay

The base camp for Markha Valley Trek is a small hamlet called Chilling. This village is situated at an elevation of 3,346 meters above sea level. Moreover, it is connected by Leh by the following modes.

  • By Bus: Situated at a distance of approximately 66 km from Leh, Chilling can easily be reached by road. Moreover, it is the only mode of transport to reach Chilling from Leh. The village is situated inside the premises of Hemis National Park. One can make their journey by bus every Wednesday and Sunday.
  • By Car/Taxi: Another way to travel to Chilling village by the means of car or taxi. It is also the fastest mode to reach Chilling by Leh. Taxi rides will cost you somewhere around INR 1200 and INR 1500. If you don’t have much experience driving in high altitude regions, it is recommended that you hire a local driver.

Suggested Read: 7 Valleys In Ladakh That Prove It Is Indeed A Paradise On Earth!

5 Highlights Of Markha Valley Trek

Markha Valley Trek in Ladakh crosses past many awe-inspiring checkpoints. Some of these checkpoints are beautiful campsites while some are picturesque villages. Listed below are some of the highlights of this trek.

1. Skiu Village

markha valley trek in winter

Skiu Village is situated adjacent to Kaya Village. This village is situated within the premises of Hemis National Park. It is one of the very first villages that you will pass through in this trek. It is circled with huge rocky mountains. Here, one can stay in homestays and can also opt to camp.

Suggested Read: Stok Kangri Trek: A Remarkable Yet Difficult Trekking Experience In Ladakh!

2. Markha Village

markha valley trek in winter

Situated alongside the famous Markha River, Markha Village is the biggest village situated in Markha Valley. It is home to more than 22 families and is an important checkpoint of Markha Trek . Here, one can also find numerous homestays to rest for the night. En route, you can also spot local people with their yaks.

Suggested Read: Explore The Hemis National Park In Ladakh to Witness Wildlife In High Altitudes

3. Hankar Village

markha valley trek in winter

Hankar is a small village with awe-inspiring landscapes. It is also considered as one of the most beautiful stops in this trek. This village also offers you picturesque views of a monastery. Moreover, staying the night in this village will also bring you closer to the local cuisine of Ladakh.

Suggested Read: 8 Tourist Circuits Of Ladakh To Cover The Best

4. Kang Yatse Hill

markha valley trek in winter

On your way to Markha Trek, you will also enjoy the spectacular views of Kang Yatse Hill. This throne-shaped peak is situated inside the premises of Hemis National Park. Enjoy gazing at the snow-covered peaks and capture the incredible landscape with your camera. Kang Yaste has two summits roughly situated at an elevation of approximately 6400 meters.

Suggested Read: Head To Ladakh In Winter For An Adventure Of A Lifetime

5. Kongmaru La

markha valley trek in winter

Kongmaru La is situated at an elevation of 5130 meters above sea level. It is also the highest point of the trek and offers spectacular views of the Kang Yatse Hill. This high-altitude pass connects Markha Valley with the Indus Valley. You will pass through this pass on your way to Chokdo Village.

Further Read: Leh Ladakh Bike Trip: Everything You Need To Know From The Scratch!

Head on for a breathtaking experience with Markha Valley Trek in Ladakh. Also, witness the intriguing changes in the enchanting landscape as you get-going. This trek accounts for nothing more than a thrilling holidays in Ladakh . So say Juley to your next adventure in the mountain peaks of Ladakh.

Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own rights to any of the images and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Frequently Asked Questions About A Gateway To Ladakh

What is the best time to go for Markha Valley Trek?

The best time to go for Markha Valley Trek is during the months of May and September. During these months the temperature is moderate and the terrain is mostly clear.

What are some of the safety tips to keep in mind while trekking in Ladakh?

Given below are some of the safety tips to keep in mind while trekking in Ladakh:

  • Owing to the high altitude, It is important that you take time to acclimatize for a few days upon your arrival in Leh and before going on a trek.
  • Always equip yourself with a personal first-aid box.
  • Make sure you are accompanied by a travel guide before heading for a trek.
  • During your trek, make sure to take sufficient water breaks to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Also, pack ample dry snacks like dry fruits to help you keep the pace.
  • Carry a sturdy pair of hiking shoes that you are comfortable wearing.
  • Pack an extra pair of socks and undergarments.
  • Pack extra batteries and power banks.

What are the top treks in Ladakh?

Given below are some of the top treks in Ladakh:

  • Stok Kangri Trek - Difficult
  • Kang Yatse 2 Trek - Difficult
  • Chadar Trek - Difficult
  • Markha Valley Winter Trek - Moderate
  • Sham Valley Trek - Moderate

Are there any villages situated in Markha Valley?

Listed below are some of the villages situated in Markha Valley:

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Markha Valley Winter Trek

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Markha Valley Winter Trek

Tour Highlights

  • Rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk Old Delhi.
  • Visit to seven wonder of world The Taj Mahal.
  • Jungle safaris in search of royal Bengal Tiger, Bandhavgarh, Shivpuri & Ranthambore.
  • Visit to UNESCO world heritage temples of Khajuraho.
  • Experience Rajasthani Culture.
  • Visit to seven wonder of world The Taj Mahal

It is one of the most frequented and popular treks in Ladakh passing over 3 high passes and many villages. The trek offers the most enchanting view of the Ladakh Himalayas. High altitude pastures of Nimaling in the foreground of Mt. Kang Yatse (6400 mt) are campers’ delight. Activities: A moderately strenuous and exiting trek for adventurous souls which offers everything in a single trek that any trekker would like to experience. On a clear day, one can see Nanga Parvat (8126 mt) from Ganda La (4900 mt).

  • Price Inclusion
  • Similar Itinerary

Markha Valley Winter Trek itinerary

Tour highlight.

PRICES OF THE ABOVE TOUR

(All Prices in INR on Per Person Basis)

Per person cost on sharing twin/Double room with Validity till March 2023

TOUR PRICE:

Prices Include:

  • - Accommodation for 03 nights on double/twin share basis in Leh and 04 nights at homestay/Tents during trek.
  • - All Meals as mentioned above in the programme
  • - Pick and drop from Airport
  • - All Transportation as per itinerary
  • - Services of Camping staff, kitchen staff and guide and porters/ponies during trek.
  • - First Aid kit and Oxygen Cylinders
  • - walkie-talkie sets for communication.
  • - Documentation/permit of the expedition from the local authority

Price doesn't Includes:

  • - Personal clothing and gears required for climbing by the clients
  • - Personal expenses such as table drinks, room’s services items, laundry, telephone calls at hotels or tip etc.
  • - Any kind of insurance
  • - Any other service or item which is not mentioned as “Price Includes”
  • · Travel insurance
  • · Personal expenses such as table drinks, room’s services items, laundry, telephone calls at hotels or tip, etc.
  • · Any additional expenses caused by or liability for a disturbance in the trip program due to or circumstances, weather conditions, sickness, natural disasters, riots, etc.
  • · Liability for or insurance against injury, loss of life, accidents, or loss of goods.
  • · Personal Belongings such as Down Jacket, walking sticks, etc.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

1)   Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary, but as this is Adventure Travel in a remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee it. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns, landslides, river crossings, the availability of Pony/Porter, and the health of climbers can all contribute to changes. The Expedition Leader and our Escort will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but an easy-going nature will be an asset!

2)   Please ensure your insurance covers you for the heights you are likely to attain and for helicopter rescue as well. When you have chosen and booked your insurance, please provide SHIKHAR TRAVELS with your insurer’s name, their 24-hour emergency telephone number, and your Policy number with them. Remember, your insurance is not worth the paper it's written on if we don't know the details and you need their assistance.

3)   Our kitchen staff and the escort will give you the accompany till base camp

General Conditions:

  • ·  The prices are on Per Person basis Net to you
  • ·  All flight timings and fares are based on the current schedule and are strictly subject to Change
  • ·  Rates valid till 30 Nov. 2022
  • ·  Upon confirmation of the booking we would require 50% of the total invoice and the balance amount can be paid 60 days prior to the date of arrival.
  • Above cost will not apply if there will be a major change in INR to the USD exchange rate.
  • ·  Class of travel on trains may change based on availability at the time of booking

Cancellation policy:

Cancellation Charges: Notice of cancellation must be made in writing in the name of Shikhar Travels (India) Pvt. Ltd.

For cancellation made 4 weeks prior to the scheduled departure, there will be a cancellation fee of 50% of the invoice. For cancellation made within 4 weeks of scheduled departure, there will be cancellation charge of 100% of the invoice. 

In certain cases the cancellation policy (including conditions applicable on the advance deposit made/required for holding the reservation) may differ & would be applicable as per the cancellation policy of that hotel / Service provider. This will be charged over & in addition to the cancellation policy.

Unused Services & Refund           

No refund will be made for any unused services or other arrangements due to any changes in schedule made by passenger while traveling. However, in certain cases, the refund will be considered as per the policy of the carrier/ hotel/ tour company / or other suppliers used for providing services.

Refund request must be made within 2 weeks of the completion of the trip.

If there is any additional expenses due to bad weather or any other reason beyond the control of the tour operator on account of hotel stay, transportation, and meals etc. extra bill will be raised. Neither Shikhar Travels (I) Pvt. Ltd. nor the participating suppliers/hotels will be responsible for the additional expenses.

Responsibility, Liability, Extra Cost, Prices and Brochure Accuracy - Changes and Errors

All the packages are sold under the business management of Shikhar Travels (I) Pvt. Ltd. and they are in no way to be considered as the principal or operator of the subject services. The right is reserved to cancel or alter any package as conditions require. Neither Shikhar Travels (I) Pvt. Ltd. nor the participating suppliers/hotels will be responsible for the additional expenses due to loss, delay or damage caused by accident, illness, bad weather, strikes/riots, roadblock etc.

Governing Law

This condition and each term shall be governed by and constructed in accordance with the laws of India without reference to conflict of laws principles and disputes arising in relation hereto shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of New Delhi.

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Himalayan Hikers – The Trekking Community In India

Markha Valley Trek

Markha valley.

Markha valley Trek

Description

Reviews (0), things to take, available dates, include / exclude, heaven on earth markha valley trek.

Markha valley Trek, Kashmir is the most sought tourist place. No doubt it is called heaven on Earth. It is the place for adventurers and trekkers and a popular gateway for its raw and arid thrills with spectacular trails.

Markha valley Trek

Magnificent barren Landscapes in Markha Valley Trek

Markha valley Trek Give Us From lush green to yellow barren landscapes, it is quite a thrilling adventure of 8 days passing alongside the Indus river. Markha Valley is the largest valley in the region of course, Leh is the start point of Markha valley Trek, which is an added advantage to explore the Buddhist monuments in Leh. You will be astonished to traverse through the tiny hamlets as you gain altitude.

Markha valley Trek

Spectacular villages and several mountain ranges in Markha Valley Trek

At Markha valley Trek You will be left in awe once you traverse through the tiny hamlets as you gain altitude. These villages have cae and tea houses that will rejuvenate your soul when you are tired from the strenuous hike.

One after another, Rumbak, Yurutse, Skui, Markha, Hankar, Nimaling settlements will revitalize you. Not only that most of the villages have preserved monasteries, ruined forts, and temples. Amongst them, the Tacha monastery is an eye and heart catcher that lies between the mountains.

Ganda La and Kongmaru La are the two cardinal passes to be crossed en route. These passes are known for the panoramic views of infinite Karakoram and Ladakh ranges. The stunning sights of K2 mountain, Stok Kangri and Kang Yatse peaks are fulfilling and the motivation of this trek.

Markha valley Trek

Why to choose Markha Valley Trek ?

See firstly, the trekking distance is a total of 128km by taxi it is 64km. By foot 64km which is to be covered into the 8 days. Leh- Chilling- Skiu-Sara- Markha-Hankar- Nimaling- Chokdo- Kongmaru La- Leh

Before heading towards the itinerary, it is really essential to perceive the reason behind choosing the Markha Valley trek

Markha valley Trek is a high-altitude mountain trek Altitudes is 5200M

The Starting trail is moderate– difficult as compare. So, this trek is for the people who have done high altitude treks before. Not meant for beginners, or family or school tour

Need proper gear & clothing for sub-zero temperature for Markha valley Trek

You got to see so many heavenly bodies at one place like the panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges, like Karakoram and Ladakhi ranges. You can see pine forests, different variety of flora and fauna surpassing

I think Do spare time in Interaction with our local’s team, and you will get to know about some of the ancient tales of Indian mythology and our local cultures, this is good ideas for trekkers

Beautiful landscapes so carry proper photo gear & Extra battery backup.

The backpack should not exceed 12 kg only

Getting to our Base Camp Bara Hazar

Option 01 – By Air Direct flight to Leh is available across the country

Kolkata- Leh

Pune – Leh

Bombay- Leh

Jet Airways, Go Air and Air India provide daily (once every day) flight service between New Delhi and Leh.

In the summer season, the services may even be provided twice a day.

However, if you plan a trip to this area of the country, you must try to book your tickets well in advance.

This might even cut down the prices which may be levied on booking at the last time.

You would enjoy the flight as you would fly over many untouched areas and even some mountain ranges.

The aerial view is just fascinating and gives a great start to your tour.

Option 02 – By Road

The road from Manali to Leh is only open in the summers.

The road trip may take you 2 days, but depending upon the weather conditions, the travel may also extend to 3 or even 4 days.

You should also make sure that you carry at least two spare tires.

Good advice would be to carry a sleeping bag with you well, as the bus may stop in the middle of nowhere for the overnight stay.

Another route to Leh via Srinagar also takes around two days.

On this route, you would pass through some lonely yet famous villages like Kargil and Khalsi.

You can reach Leh around 5:00 am to 7:00 am, vehicles will be arranged and

there you can meet our office members.

ATM Point & amp; Mobile connectivity in Markha Valley Trek

ATM POINT: Withdraw money before your journey, Manali is the last point

where you will find ATM.

(If you want to withdraw the money then do it in Leh.)

Note:-  Himalayan Hikers arrange vehicles for you from Leh and Drop Tempo

Key Points Markha Valley Trek

Duration: –    7 Nights Days from Leh to Leh

Base camp: –   Skiu base camp

Summer Temperature: –   10°C to 15°C and Night: 0°C to 7°C

Markha Valley- Altitude: –  5200m

Best Time: – May to June and September to October

Trek Level: –    Moderate- Difficult

Trek distance: –    65km

Group Size: – a minimum of 5 people a maximum of 15 people

The altitude we are going to cover per day

Leh –  3500m

Chilling – 3200m

Skiu   –     3400m

Sara   –   3500m

Markha –  3700m

Hankar   –   4000m

Nimaling – 4700m

Chokdo –    3700m

Kongmaru – 5200m

Short Itinerary of Markha valley Trek

Day 1 : Pick up to you from Leh( No trekking)(3500m)

 Day 2 : Acclimatization Day At Leh(Walk around nearby) (3500m)

Day 3 : Drive Leh to Chilling and trek to Skiu (65km By car) (2/3 hours) (4171m)(9km by foot)(4/5hours)(3400m)

Day 4 : Trek from Skiu to Sara(10km) (3/4hours)(3500m)

Day 5 : Trek from Sara to Markha (10 km)( 3/4 hours)(3700m)

Day 6 : Trek from Markha to Hankar(11km) (5/6hours) (4000m)

Day 7: Trek from Hankar to Nimaling(9km)(3/4hours)(4700m)

Day 8: Trek from Nimaling to Chokdo Via Kongmaru La drive to Leh(16km)(7/8hours)(5200m)

Day 1: Pick up from Leh

Total distance 0

Mode of journey – By taxi

Altitude – 3500

Night stay – Hotels

Himalayan Hikers will pick up the trekkers from Leh and leave for the hotels to acclimatize at around 6:00 to 7:00 am.

Markha Valley trek begins from Leh. Arrive in Leh through flight or train.

Take it slowly once you arrive in Leh. Since it is at the hazardous height of 11,000 ft direct landing to this height may trigger AMS.

Make sure you rest well and not strain your body during your stay in the hotel.

Leh has gained popularity as the adventure capital of India.

It is quite famous amongst wanderers, which you can evidently see as you roam here and there.

Acclimatization is very important. Don’t rush, take it easy.

Day 2 : Leh(Acclimatization)

Mode of the journey – (No journey as will be acclimatizing)

Altitud 3500m

Night Stay – Hotels

This is an extra day added in the itinerary to help you get acclimatized better.

Therefore, utilize this day and try to stay outdoors. Hike up to the Shey Palace, Thiksey Monastery, Thiksey Gompa to experience the Buddhist culture. Thiksey Gompa is the largest in central Ladakh, located on a hill.

Additionally, you can interact with the locals and fellow travelers to gain some knowledge about the adjacent areas. Roam in the Leh city and the Leh Bazaar. You can collect souvenirs from a variety of shops.

You must spend the sunset at the Shanti Stupa, which is known for its dazzling lights in the evening.

Say goodbye to the wonderful Leh and rest in your hotel.

Day 3 : Drive to Chilling and trek to Skiu

Trek Distance – 72km (7/8 hours journey)

Mode of the journey – 65km by car and 9km by foot

Altitude – 3400m

Night Stay – Our Campsite – on a twin share basis

Get set as your real trek journey commences. You will be riding along the skillfully paved roadways crossing marvelous landscapes.

Throughout the road, you will encounter military camps decorated with colorful big rocks around the camps.

Do not miss Gurudwara Pathar Sahib on the right and Magnet Hill on the left as you move ahead.

The Stok Range remains on the right until it vanishes slowly when you reach Hemis National Park.

You will be pleasantly surprised once you reach Sangam. Indus and Zanskar rivers, both bottle green, yet so unique, form the most spectacular confluence.

This point is also famous as the starting end for rafting. Take a diversion here towards Chilling.

The surrounding view henceforth changes magically. Valley having stunning purple, black, grey shades of the mountains.

Juniper and tall alpine trees will border the route as you cross the Zanskar river over green iron bridges.

Take a deep breath once you get down at Chilling, as the walking will begin in a few minutes.

Skiu will mark the first camping in the tents. It is located at the confluence of rivers ShgriNala and Markha.

Skui village is largely divided into two sections, upper and lower village. Lower Skui has 12 houses quite close to each other.

A small trudge, old monastery and ruins of a palace, separate it from upper Skui.

There are small white stupas and mani stones laid towards upper Skui. Markhariver lies on the right of the village.

Most of the places here offer homestays. Relax after a mini-trek, while looking forward to the upcoming trek.

Day 4 : Trek from Skiu to Sara

Trek Distance – 10km(3/4hours journey)

Mode of journey – By foot

Altitude – 3500m

Night Stay – Campsite – on twin share basis

Start fresh for the actual first trekking day. Be vigilant about birds and animals. Markha valley harbors enormous wildlife.

Magpie birds will be visible right after you step out of the house. The trail is quite evident and well-paved intermittently.

The Markhariver will remain escorting on the right, which incepts from Kang Yatse peaks.

In an hour a hut of Women Cafe can be spotted, take a small break here and keep walking.

The trail is enclosed with the valley that goes through sparse forest cover. Another hour’s trudge and the first wooden bridge comes at Zanpa Yoakma.

The bridge marks halfway of the day’s trek to Sara. Despite that, try not to relax here, because in merely 25 minutes another coffee shop at Hamourja is waiting for you to rejuvenate.

Look out for black sheep, deer, mountain goats on these banks.

Keep walking straight till Nagding village for another 40 minutes.

Right in front of the houses spot meditation caves at a height on the valley walls.

These caves are believed to be having paintings of the 20th century.

The banks of the Markha river get wider and you can find yourself stepping in the powdered sand. Enjoy the feeling of Himalayan sands.

Day 5 : Trek From Sara To Markha

Trek Distance – 10km (3/4hours)

Altitude – 3700m

Night Stay – Our Campsite – on a twin share basis

Start early today from Sara, carry along packed lunch.

The trail is somewhat similar to the previous day. Despite that, you will always find something new in this mysterious valley.

The first tea houses arrive immediately after 30 minutes at Chalak village.

The village has houses placed on small hills with stone protection shelter for domestic animals at the base.

Visit any of the villagers they will greet you with Namkin Chai and biscuits. Re-energize by affectionate talks and hot drinks. The destination is 2 hours away from here.

You will have to walk in the running stream of the Markha river to reach the Markha village.

The cold water will bring back all the energy. In 20 minutes, you can see the hamlet. Find your homestay and pack up for the day.

Day 6 : Trek From Markha to Hankar

Trek Distance 11km (5/6hours)

Altitude – 4000m

Take the most advantage of the innocence of the salient villages because today will probably be the last habitats on the route.

The trail is beautiful and refreshing when it merges with flowing rivers and streams.

These water bodies can also be crossed over a bridge.

Umlung village is a small village and will serve the last teahouse of the trek with yet another serene monastery to your sight.

After Umlung you can get the first sight of Mt. Kang Yatse(6400m).

It seems as if the peak is calling you! Follow its voice, again overcome the river several times and enter the Hankar village.

Try to spot the magically placed Tacha monastery on a mountain. It is the last hamlet of the trek and your refuge plac

Day 7 :Trek From Hankar to Nimaling

Trek Distance – 9km (¾ hours)

Altitude – 4700m

Night Stay – Our campsite on a twin share basis

Get all enthusiastic, after yesterday’s tough trek, today will be an easy and short trek.

Start walking and in 1 km you will find diversions or paths separating out. The other route goes to Rupshu and Zanskar.

Keep walking on the left path until a stone bridge. This marks that you are on right trail.

Henceforth, you can see many diversions, please be careful and follow the trek leader/guide.

In the next 2 hours, the pastures of Thochuntse becomes visible. There camping sites and tea houses here.

Try to engulf yourself in nature and move slowly just as you focus on the Kang Yatse peak.

The peak seems to grow bigger and bigger. Surprisingly, tranquil twin lakes also come along the path.

The trails enter into a huge grassland after a few fights crossing streams of the high altitudes.

Sheep, mountain goats, sometimes rabbits are found grazing at Nimling.

It is a pleasant camping place. It is the high point you will attain on this trek.

There are instances of snowfall at this site hence we prepared for that. Above all that, just try to merge into the high world and sleep in peace.

Day 8: Trek FromNimaling to Chokdo Via Kongmaru La drive to Leh

Distance – 16km(8/9hours) 2 hours drive to Leh

Mode of journey – By foot(16km), By taxi (2 hours drive)

Altitude – 5200m

This day will be nostalgic and exciting, as this is the last day of the trek landing to the highest pass of the trek.

Also, this day will be filled with surprises. After a strenuous climb of 2 hours to Kongmaru La pass, you will be pleasantly welcomed by the Karakoram Range Mountains and the excellent array of peaks.

Hold your breath for the mind-blowing sight of the huge K2 Mountain, the second-highest peak in the world.

There are prayer flags moving along the wind. To your surprise, there is a good network connection from the pass.

The trail then gradually descends, coinciding with villages to say goodbye.

The immediate trail from pass has steep and narrow descend which later opens to Chikirmo village.

Throughout the route, you can get indulged in the scenery of Indus valley and Ladakh range.

After a gradual climb down and rocky terrain, you will reach Chokdo.

This the last stop of the entire trek, which also has many homestays.

Get into the pickup vehicles that will take you to Leh.

Mandatory Documents

Please carry the documents given below.

Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (Aadhar Card, Driving License, Voters ID, etc, Passport and Visa important to foreigners Medical Certificate (First part should be filled by the Doctor and Second part by the Trekker) Declaration Certificates

Note: –   Many trekkers commit the same mistake of carrying unnecessary items on a trek which only makes the backpack heavy. It is important to know the right items to carry. It differs from season to season if you are trekking in summers then carry less layers of warm clothing and if you are trekking in winters carry enough layers to protect yourself against chilly cold.

Necessary Items for trekkers

carry on a trek

Backpack (50 to 60 liters) A strongly built backpack with good support is compulsory for a trek. (Rain cover is important)

Sturdy Trekking Shoes The shoes should be strong enough with good support. The people ask if sports shoes would be comfortable but it is good to bring the right trekking shoes.

The Clothes You Should Bring On a Trek Avoid keeping extra clothes because it only makes you backpack heavy.

Trek Pants – The jeans are never suitable for a trek so you need at least 2-3 trek pants for treks carry more for longer treks.

Jacket – Jackets are very important to carry on a trek it protects you against the chilly weather. So carry 2 jackets on a week long trek.

Layers of warm Clothing  Carry warm woolen layers or fleece. Carry more layers during winter season (at least 2 to 3) and less during summer.

Thermals – The Temperature decreases at night so you might be need thermals for Night.

T- Shirts – Bring those t shirts which dry fast.

Poncho –They are needed if you are trekking on a Rainy day to keep you dry.

Hiking Pole

Water Bottle 2

Cap or Balaclava

Woolen and Waterproof Gloves

Socks (Woolen and Regular)

Torch head light

Personal Toiletry Items –  (toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, sanitizer etc.)

Carry Personal Medical Kit

Personal Medical Kit (Carry minimum 5 tablets and maximum 10)

Medical Kit

Diamox – (Prevents altitude sickness)

Digene – (It cures discomfort in stomach, acidity)

Crocin Advance – (Cures fever and headache)

Aspirin/Combiflam – (Pain reliever)

Disprin – (Cures headache)

Avomine – (Prevents motion sickness)

Avil – (It treat allergies)

Norflox TZ & Lomofen – (Prevents Diarrhoea)

Ranitidine – (Reduces the amount of acid in stomach)

Volini/Moov spray – (For sprains)

Betadine/Savlon – (Antiseptic cream)

Stretchable/Elastic bandage

Note:- Use medicines only when prescribed by the doctor. In case you face any problem during your trek, discuss and take advice from the Professional guide.

Sorry! Here are no Available dates right now. For Any Queries you can Email us with [email protected] and Call Us +91 9756197558

What is Included In This Trek?

Transport Facility Leh To Leh

Forest Permit and entrance fee

Accommodation in tents on twin share basis

All meals: breakfast, packed lunch, tea, coffee, snacks, soup and dinner

(All camping gears)

High quality tents

Sleeping bags

Separate Toilet tents – Ladies and Gents

Dining Tent

Dining Table

Kitchen team

Radio Walkie Talkie for Communication

Good Experience Trek Leader guide and Technical guide

Medical Kit

Oxygen Cylinders

Crampons and Gaiters

What is Not Include In This Trek?

Personal Insurance

Medical Certificate

Personal toiletry Items and Personal Medicine kit

On first day En Route to base camp the Breakfast and Lunch are Not Included

Last Day En Route Lunch and Dinner are Not Included

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National Tourism Day 2024: From Roopkund to Har Ki Dun - 10 breathtaking treks in India

From the soaring heights of the Himalayas to the lush landscapes of the Western Ghats, India's trekking trails offer not just physical challenges but also a feast for the senses. 

National Tourism Day 2024: From Roopkund to Har Ki Dun - 10 breathtaking treks in India snt

As we celebrate National Tourism Day in 2024, adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers alike are drawn to the unparalleled beauty of India's diverse landscapes. From the majestic Himalayas to the lush Western Ghats, India offers a plethora of trekking opportunities that cater to all levels of expertise. This article unveils 10 trekker's paradises across the country, showcasing the awe-inspiring beauty and adventure that awaits those willing to explore India's scenic trails.

1. Roopkund Trek, Uttarakhand:

Tucked away in the Garhwal Himalayas, the Roopkund Trek is a mesmerizing journey that leads trekkers to the mysterious glacial lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks. The trail offers a unique blend of alpine meadows, dense forests, and panoramic mountain views, making it a must-visit for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts.

2. Valley of Flowers Trek, Uttarakhand:

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is a botanical wonderland. This trek takes you through vibrant fields of alpine flowers, gushing streams, and snow-capped peaks. The valley is a burst of colors during the blooming season, offering a visual treat that remains etched in the memories of trekkers.

3. Hampta Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh:

Connecting the Kullu Valley to Lahaul, the Hampta Pass Trek in Himachal Pradesh is renowned for its dramatic landscapes. Trekkers traverse through lush green valleys, dense forests, and high-altitude deserts. The pass itself offers breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, making it a favorite among adventure enthusiasts.

4. Rupin Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand:

The Rupin Pass Trek takes you on a trans-Himalayan journey from Himachal Pradesh to Uttarakhand, providing a diverse range of landscapes. From dense forests and meadows to snow bridges and waterfalls, each day on this trek brings a new adventure. The Rupin Pass, with its breathtaking views, is the highlight of this expedition.

5. Kedarkantha Trek, Uttarakhand:

Perfect for beginners and seasoned trekkers alike, the Kedarkantha Trek offers a stunning winter wonderland experience. The trail takes you through dense pine forests, snow-covered landscapes, and charming local villages. The summit provides panoramic views of prominent Himalayan peaks, making it a memorable trekking destination.

6. Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh:

Nestled in the heart of Ladakh, the Markha Valley Trek combines high-altitude desert landscapes with traditional Ladakhi villages. Trekkers cross the Markha River, encounter monasteries, and enjoy the vast expanse of barren yet beautiful terrain. This trek is a cultural and scenic delight for those seeking a unique adventure.

7. Sandakphu Trek, West Bengal:

Offering the best vantage point to witness the grandeur of the world's highest peaks, the Sandakphu Trek in West Bengal takes you to the summit of the Singalila Range. As you trek through rhododendron forests and quaint villages, the breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, and other Himalayan giants unfold before you.

8. Har Ki Dun Trek, Uttarakhand:

Tucked away in the Garhwal Himalayas, the Har Ki Dun Trek takes trekkers to the 'Valley of Gods.' Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, the trail winds through ancient villages, lush meadows, and alpine forests. This trek offers a perfect blend of adventure and cultural exploration.

9. Chadar Trek, Ladakh:

For the ultimate winter adventure, the Chadar Trek in Ladakh takes trekkers on a journey over the frozen Zanskar River. The stark beauty of the frozen landscapes, icy cliffs, and surreal surroundings create a unique and challenging trekking experience.

10. Western Ghats - Nilgiri Hills Trek, Tamil Nadu and Kerala:

The Western Ghats offer a myriad of trekking options, and the Nilgiri Hills Trek stands out for its lush greenery and diverse flora and fauna. Trekking through the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, trekkers are treated to panoramic views, cascading waterfalls, and a chance to explore the rich biodiversity of the region.

On National Tourism Day 2024, let these 10 trekker's paradises beckon the adventurous spirit within you. From the soaring heights of the Himalayas to the lush landscapes of the Western Ghats, India's trekking trails offer not just physical challenges but also a feast for the senses. As we celebrate the beauty of our country, these treks stand as a testament to the incredible diversity that India has to offer for those who seek to explore its natural wonders.

  • National Tourism Day
  • National Tourism Day 2024

markha valley trek in winter

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markha valley trek in winter

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Methow Valley News

Locally grown, internationally known

Winter recreation in the Methow perseveres as valley fights off the 40s

February 1, 2024 by Ashley Lodato

markha valley trek in winter

Chance of snow, lower temps by weekend

Once again, January has delivered us plenty of opportunities to play our favorite winter sports: puddle hopping, driveway pinball, and slush striding. When we tire of those pastimes, there’s always lake crossing practice in various parking lots, courtesy of that ol’ atmospheric river.

Enjoy the snow-cone conditions while you can; by this weekend we just might drop into freezing temperatures at night again — and there is a hint of snow in the forecast.

Meanwhile, winter activities continue despite the unseasonal heat-up and resulting messiness.

Here’s a status report:

Nordic skiing

Although the valley floor trails in the Methow Trails trail system are getting slushy, trails in Mazama, Sun Mountain, and the Rendezvous are in surprisingly good condition.

A whole slew of Nordic races and non-competitive tours lie ahead in February, from this weekend’s Race of the Methow (see more information page B1), to the Feb. 10 Ski to the Sun Marathon and Relay, to the Tour of the Methow on Feb. 17 and the Doggie Dash on Feb. 18. Check the Methow Trails and Methow Valley Nordic websites for information about the events.

Nordic conditions at the Loup are also pretty darn great, both at South Summit and North Summit. Grooming generally happens four times weekly. Check grooming reports at skitheloup.com/nordic-skiing.

Ice skating

For the two millionth time, someone uttered the words, “Thank goodness the Winthrop Rink has refrigeration,” speaking for the entire community of those who live for putting blade to ice. The usual activities are available at the rink this week, from open skate to hockey tournaments: winthroprink.org/.

markha valley trek in winter

Alpine skiing

Loup Loup Ski Bowl is operational, but can’t groom until temperatures drop below freezing again. The team is working hard to preserve the snowpack to extend the season as long as possible: skitheloup.com.

The Loup Loup Skimo Race takes place Saturday, Feb. 3. Complete as many uphill and downhill laps as you can in a certain timeframe. Race organizers promise “no epic cliff jumps or narrow slot skiing necessary.” Find information at www.cascadeendurance.com/loup-loup-skimo.

Methow Fatbike hopes to resume its Fat and Fire rides and social fires soon, but drippy weather has stymied efforts so far. Riding on soft trails causes damage that’s hard to repair. If you’re sinking in more than 1 inch, please go back to the trailhead and ride another day. Check www.facebook.com/methowfatbike for grooming updates.

Methow Cycle & Sport provides the most comprehensive list of fat biking trails and conditions in the Methow Valley. Visit https://www.methowcyclesport.com/articles/fat-bike-grooming-report-pg184.htm for more information and trail suggestions. Parking passes are required.

Snowmobiling

The Methow Valley Snowmobile Association (MVSA) 2024 Bucket Run will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. at the 8-Mile Sno-Park. This family-friendly game of chance is open to sled heads around the region to ride the loop for a chance to win some awesome prizes,” the MVSA website says. MVSA often posts spontaneous group ride opportunities; stay tune to their communication outlets: mvsnowmobile.blogspot.com/, www.facebook.com/methowvalleysnowmobile/.

Ice fishing

Until temperatures drop again, you’re probably going to find lake surfaces pretty slushy, with standing water. Play it safe; drill a hole before venturing out onto the ice. The Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends waiting until ice is 4 inches thick for ice fishing, and 9 inches for snowmobiling: okanogancountry.com/fishing–hunting-winter, https://wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/weekender/north-central.

Snowshoeing

Find trail information for snowshoeing at methowtrails.org/conditions.

Winter recreation resources are managed by non-profit organizations and volunteers. Purchase required passes to help support winter recreation opportunities and facilities.

markha valley trek in winter

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Experiential

Markha Valley – A Journey From The Summer Land To The Winter Capital!

Ashwin muralidharan, contrasts of life-1.

In extreme heat, we tend to eat something cold. In extreme cold, we tend to eat something hot.

Under scorching heat, when the sun smiles with shining flares, my friends and I used to play cricket without sandals. 40 degrees Celsius has always felt like room temperature to me. Coming from South India, I represent summer to my North Indian colleagues. And they represent winter to me.

How did I end up here? It's because of the contrast of life. One thing led to another, and I became an On-Field Writer at Bikat Adventures . My first trek with Bikat Adventures began from Dehradun. The cold was initially tough to get accustomed to.

But with time and many trials and errors, I had mastered the art of layering, or so I thought until I received some bone-chilling news.

Contrasts of life – 2

In the journey of life, a straight road always ends up with a twist or a turn.

My second trek began in Ladakh. It was the Markha Valley Winter Trek .

I have heard many stories about Ladakh in the winters. Temperatures during the day drop to -15 degrees, and at night, it goes down to a frigid -20. The thought of negative temperatures reduced my positivity.

When I shared this news with my fellow trek leader, he simply chuckled about it.

Finally, the preparations began. My trek leader and I started to Leh by flight.

Contrasts of life - 3

Extreme situations always have simple solutions.

After flying through the beautiful Himalayan Ranges, we landed at Leh airport and reached the hotel. My hands were shivering, and my teeth were constantly clattering. I felt like an old typewriter moving from left to right.

The cold was unbearable, and I was almost ready to quit. My trek leader brought me out of my paranoia with a simple trick. He used the placebo effect on me.

He gave me a hot drink. I drank it and dozed off. Surprisingly the next day, things changed. I came out of my room and started enjoying everything around me.

I went back to my trek leader and asked him what was in the drink?

It was just hot water, he replied.

My mind had been so fixated on the cold that it hadn't even recognized the taste. I realized how simple everything was. The fear had just been in my mind.

Contrasts of life- 4

Though we are a part of a big universe Every being, place, and thing has a universe inside it

Passing through quaint villages, I observed many interesting things. Both the people and the place reflected simplicity. When they welcome you by saying Juley, your cheek muscles spontaneously widen into a smile. When I walked on the frozen river of the Markha, I was listening to the symphony of ice. The crackling sound from the footsteps on ice, the flowing sound of the river beneath the frozen sheet and the clumsy sounds of teammates falling on it set the stage for a comical concert.

The contrasts in the landscape were vivid. On one side stretched the frozen river, and on the other, the terrain was covered with dried-up trees and small peaks. The experience felt like a movie marathon, starting with a wild-west action movie progressing to comedy and culminating in art. Overall, it was a box office hit!

Contrasts of life- 5

The secrets of life are always realized as an after taste.

Every day was a surprise for me at Markha Valley. On the trails, I witnessed many sacred monasteries which had rocks engraved with Buddhist mantras. The legends say we have to stay on the right-hand side while crossing them.

After thinking about it for some time, I understood the science behind it. When villagers cross our path with their cattle, we tend to naturally take the riverside or the valley. In our trails, the mane walls and monasteries were strategically placed in a way to guide us on the right path. This level of intricacy combined with spirituality was enlightening for me.

Contrasts of life -6

In the darkness, we find the light. In the chaos, we find peace. In the cold, we find warmth.

The day came when the temperature at one of our campsites dropped to – 30 degrees Celsius. Our confidence and willpower froze along with everything else. We couldn't even move to fix our tents and settle down.

The downhill winds were brutal. At that moment, our leader came up with an idea. Outside of our campsite, there was a small room reserved for dining. All trekkers, fourteen in total, took our sleeping bags and squeezed inside the dining tent. Within a few minutes, our morale rose, and we were all laughing at the scene around us. Together, we found warmth and comfort in each other's company. At that exact moment, another realization struck me. We are never alone. Happiness and sadness can always be handled better when it's shared with others.

Contrasts of life - 7

Magic happens when two extremes meet.

Finally, the day arrived when I made it to the main vantage point. From the top, everything was sheathed in white. It was truly a winter wonderland. In the sight of the mighty Kang Yatse peaks , I felt like a puny soul.

At that moment, I had my final realization. Markha is one of the best things to happen to me this year. After enduring temperatures that go down to -30 degrees, I now feel charged up to embark on more daunting expeditions in the upcoming months.

Dreamer, listener, and a curious soul. I indulge influence and leave my impressions behind. If y Read more

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markha valley trek in winter

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    markha valley trek in winter

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  1. Markha Valley Winter Trek

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COMMENTS

  1. Markha Valley Winter Trek

    In the winter world of trekking, Markha Valley is an unconventional trek to explore. Not only is it ideal for people who want to experience the Chadar Trek without going on the Chadar Trek, but Markha Valley is also a winter wonderland with distinct topography and captivating sceneries that give you a total offbeat experience.

  2. Markha Valley Trek 2024, Ladakh

    Markha Valley Trek Ladakh 7 Days Max Altitude 17,100 FT Grade Moderate Duration 7 Days Trekking KM. 61 KM 22,500 /Person +5% GST (Goods and Services Tax) Leh to Leh | included transport Rs 21,000 Trek Cost & Rs 1,500 Transportation (All included in the cost) Help & Support +91 819 100 4846 10:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs Monday - Saturday GMT +5:30

  3. Markha Valley trek: How to do it independently

    Trekking details Length: 96km / 50km Duration: 4-9 days When to go: June to September Highest point: 5,200m Lowest point: 3,200m Difficulty: Medium (experienced beginners) How many days are needed to complete the Markha Valley hike? You need a minimum of 4 days and a maximum of 9, depending on where you start from:

  4. Winter Markha Valley Trek

    April 17, 2020 Hike to Ganda La (Pass) Kasturi and I were in Ladakh for 12 days in December 2019 to do the Markha Valley Trek. I have shared my experience in three blog posts, and this is the second in the series. The first post describes our time in Leh before the trek, and the third post is about our day trips around Leh after the trek.

  5. Markha Valley Winter Trek

    Markha Valley Winter Trek Quick Facts 2023, 21-28 Jan | 08 Days INR 62,750 + 5% GST Single Supplement - INR 26,950 + 5% GST Highest Altitude: 4150 M Difficulty: Demanding Group Size: 8-16 persons One of the most popular treks in Ladakh, the proximity to Leh brings a lot of people to this valley.

  6. A Visual Ode To Markha Valley Winter Trek

    Markha valley winter trek is one of the frozen paradises located in Ladakh that made me fall for it and took me through a distinct dimension filled with delightful experiences. During the winter season the Markha river partially freezes and gives an offbeat experience for trekkers.

  7. A Guide to Hiking the Markha Valley Trek

    Do You Need a Guide? Getting to the Trailhead: Chilling Alternative Start Point Day 1: Chilling to Skiu Day 2: Skyu to Markha village Day 3: Markha to Lower Hankar Day 4: Hankar to Nimaling Camp Day 5: Nimaling to Kongmaru La to Shang Sumdo Finishing the Markha Valley Trek and Getting Back to Leh Accommodation on the Markha Valley Trek Food

  8. Markha Valley Trek

    Updated: April 21, 2023 The Markha Valley Trek is one of the most spectacular and famous treks in the Ladakh region of India. Located in the northwestern area of India, the Ladakh region is famed for its wildness and untouched beauty. On this page, you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the Markha Valley Trek. Markha Valley Trek

  9. Markha Valley Trek

    17,060 FT Moderate ₹ 19500 $ 270* Book Now Best Time May-Oct Base Camp Leh, India Pickup Point Leh Airport, India Minimum Age 12 Home Treks Markha Valley Trek Highlights

  10. Markha valley trek from Chilling

    The Markha valley trek is often done in 6 days, from Chilling to Hemis. This trek itinerary covers a distance of 78 km and 2500m of elevation gain. It crosses one high-altitude pass. The duration of 6 days is the total duration from Leh to Leh, including transport to the start point and from the end point of the trek.

  11. Highlights of Markha Valley Winter Trek

    Markha Valley is a winter wonderland located in Ladakh that can rekindle your childhood and make you believe in magic and fairy tales once again. About Markha Valley With its proximity to Leh, Markha Valley is a prominent trek of Ladakh that can offer an unconventional experience to trekkers and nature lovers alike.

  12. Markha Valley Winter Trek

    Description Markha valley trek is one of most attempted treks in Ladakh region. Ladakh offers a rare mix of barren landscape and beautiful as well as unique Buddhist culture. Markha valley in summers is quite a busy trek and invites a lot of foreigners as well. Markha valley trek covers high mountain passes (15000ft+) and trails.

  13. Hiking the Markha Valley Trail in

    Only a few hours drive from Leh, the Markha Valley is remote and roadless (apart from its access points). The hike takes you along the Markha river, past remote villages, through barley fields and across the 5200m Kongmaru-la Pass. The entirety of the trek takes place within the Hemis National Park, a large area of natural beauty in the heart ...

  14. Markha Valley Winter Trek

    Bikat Adventures 6.08K subscribers 2.4K views 2 years ago The Markha Valley Winter trek is one of the most fascinating treks in Ladakh. The trek takes you on a beautiful journey in the land of...

  15. Markha Valley Trek

    Duration: 6 Days/ 5Nights Max Altitude: 17,060ft Pickup: Leh Difficulty: Moderate Placed in the magnificent landscape, Markha Valley Trek is the finest ever trek of Ladakh. Set in the picturesque river valley called Markha, this trek gives you the best feel of the mighty Himalayas in its 7-day duration.

  16. Markha Valley Trek: Ladakh's Most Sought-After Trek In 2023

    Traveling during the months of June and September, you can also save yourself from the blows of harsh winter winds. The ideal duration of this trek comprises a total of 6 days. A duration of 6 days takes you through various scenic check-points such as Chilling, Skiu, Markha, Hankar, Nimaling, Kongmaru La, Shang Sumdo, etc.

  17. Markha Valley Trek

    The first view of Kang Yatse from the trail. Photo by Manoj MN The villages of Markha and Hankar The villages of Markha and Hankar are a rare sight - lush greenery in the middle of a barren, high-altitude desert. The contrast between the dry desert mountains guarding a precious oasis of green civilization is striking.

  18. Markha Valley Trek

    The trail crosses the river at various points and passes winter settlements that contain Lhatos (religious shrines for local deities) and Mani walls (stones inscribed with Buddhist prayers). ... Markha Valley Trek is not technically challenging but is a physically strenuous trek, especially for beginners. The trek involves steep ascents and ...

  19. Markha Valley Trek in 3 Exceptional Days

    Beauty on the Markha Valley trek comes with a price - a lot more people and the tea-house culture. There's nothing wrong with that but it requires an adjustment after a couple of truly remote weeks. Our trip to the start of the formal Markha Valley trek began after a long day that included crossing the Rubrang La at 5,020 metres (16,470 ...

  20. Markha Valley Winter Trek Package 2023

    Markha Valley Winter Trek Markha Valley Winter Trek Duration 8 Days 7 Nights Best Time January, February, March, November, December Region North India Price 2024 INR 32500 Price 2024 INR 32500 Validity date 2024 20 Jan 26 Jan 03 Feb 10 Feb 17 Feb 02 March 16 March Activities Trekking, Nature Photography, Camping Routes

  21. Markha Valley Trek

    Key Points Markha Valley Trek. Duration: - 7 Nights Days from Leh to Leh. Base camp: - Skiu base camp. Summer Temperature: - 10°C to 15°C and Night: 0°C to 7°C. Markha Valley- Altitude: - 5200m. Best Time: - May to June and September to October. Trek Level: - Moderate- Difficult. Trek distance: - 65km.

  22. Markha-Valley-Winter-Trek-Who-is-this-meant-for

    Markha Valley Winter Trek - Who is this meant for? In the dictionary of offbeat experiences, Markha Valley in winters is a distinct trek of Ladakh hosting unconventional trails and astonishing scenic beauty. The trail runs along the Markha River which is a tributary of the Zanskar.

  23. National Tourism Day 2024: From Roopkund to Har Ki Dun

    Nestled in the heart of Ladakh, the Markha Valley Trek combines high-altitude desert landscapes with traditional Ladakhi villages. Trekkers cross the Markha River, encounter monasteries, and enjoy the vast expanse of barren yet beautiful terrain. This trek is a cultural and scenic delight for those seeking a unique adventure. 7.

  24. TimeoutLadakh.com on Instagram: "Markha Valley Trek, a great way to

    28 likes, 0 comments - timeoutladakh on June 10, 2023: "Markha Valley Trek, a great way to experience Ladakhi culture and wildlife The Markha Valley Trek..." TimeoutLadakh.com on Instagram: "Markha Valley Trek, a great way to experience Ladakhi culture and wildlife The Markha Valley Trek is a popular hiking route in Ladakh.

  25. Winter recreation in the Methow perseveres as valley fights off the 40s

    The Methow Valley Snowmobile Association (MVSA) 2024 Bucket Run will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. at the 8-Mile Sno-Park. This family-friendly game of chance is open to sled heads around the region to ride the loop for a chance to win some awesome prizes," the MVSA website says. MVSA often posts spontaneous group ride opportunities ...

  26. Markha Valley

    Contrasts of life - 2. In the journey of life, a straight road always ends up with a twist or a turn. My second trek began in Ladakh. It was the Markha Valley Winter Trek. I have heard many stories about Ladakh in the winters. Temperatures during the day drop to -15 degrees, and at night, it goes down to a frigid -20.